The Look in Brief

Shelby Commission shoots down pay raise for sheriff

By: - November 15, 2021 11:14 pm
Shelby County Commission

Shelby County Commission (Photo:

In Memphis on Monday, Shelby County commissioners shot down a proposed pay increase for Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner, Jr. 

Bonner was up for a salary bump from $148,485 to $199,500. Commissioner Edmund Ford said  although Shelby’s sheriff is the lowest paid law enforcement leader in the state, but commissioners weren’t buying the sales pitch, noting recent controversies. 

Earlier, several residents spoke out against the the sheriff’s office.

“This entire pandemic, folks have continuously raised concern and alarm about the mistreatment of people being held so much that the federal courts became involved,” said one resident. 

In September, the commission passed a resolution urging the U.S. Department of Justice to continue overseeing the county’s juvenile detention center after reports of racial discrimination and Black children being more likely to be transferred to adult facilities.

Although the salary increase would not take effect until 2022, Commissioner Tami Sawyer said the current issues needed to be addressed before considering a raise. 

“As I stated Last week, we had three deaths in Shelby County jails,” said Sawyer. “I can’t in good faith support this.”  

Bonner, Shelby County’s first Black sheriff, announced in September he will run for a second term. 


Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Dulce Torres Guzman
Dulce Torres Guzman

Dulce has written for the Nashville Scene and Crucero News. A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, she received the John Seigenthaler Award for Outstanding Graduate in Print Journalism in 2016. Torres Guzman is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. She enjoys the outdoors and is passionate about preserving the environment and environmental issues.