SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. (WMC) - Overnight, vandals targeted the homes of multiple elected officials within Shelby County government.
Suspects visited the residences of Shelby County Commission chairman Mark Billingsley, commissioner Amber Mills, and Sheriff Floyd Bonner, throwing paint in driveways and scattering flyers throughout their yards.
“It was sort of shocking and upsetting,” said Billingsley.
Billingsley said he thinks the vandals came by his home around 3 a.m. Mills said her best guess is that her residence was hit sometime around 4 a.m.
“I was surprised. I was not expecting it,” said Mills.
All three officials awoke at their homes to find paint splattered in driveways, with flyers saying “Defund the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Fund Shelby County Schools, Give Teachers a Raise, and Fund Virtual Therapy Services.”
“I would never support defunding our law enforcement. We need them,” Mills said, “There’s people out there that don’t want to have a conversation and talk it out.”
Mills chairs the county commission’s law enforcement, fire, corrections, and courts committee, and Billingsley serves as vice-chair of that committee.
Both commissioners spoke out against two budget amendments back in June that would have cut millions in funding to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and re-allocated it to the Shelby County Division of Community Services. The amendments were ultimately defeated.
“I’ve always been supportive of education. I will continue to be supportive of our police. I don’t believe that we should defund the police, nor will I ever vote to defund the police,” Billingsley said Wednesday.
Germantown Police are investigating the incident at Billingsley’s home. Bartlett Police are looking into what took place at Sheriff Floyd Bonner’s, and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office is probing the vandalism at Amber Mills’ home.
“I’m happy to sit down with any individual, any group and meet,” said Billingsley, “But to go out and attack peoples’ homes and frighten their families and children, I think it’s really inappropriate and doesn’t speak to the issues that need to be addressed,” he said.
A spokesperson for the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that Bonner’s home was included in the vandalism spree, but Sheriff Bonner himself declined to comment further on what took place.