The winner of Miss Black Texas 2016 says she was harassed by a North Texas police chief who allegedly called her a “Black b—-,” for no reason other than being a responsible driver. She also claims that she unlawfully detained and arrested.
According to NBCDFW.com, Carmen S. Ponder, Miss Black Texas U.S. Ambassador 2016 and an intern with the Hunt County, Texas, District Attorney’s Office, says that the incident started when she was driving behind Police Chief Kerry Crews. After noticing that the car was drifting from lane to lane and abruptly stopped several times, Ponder did what she said most drivers would do—”politely signaled and went around the sporadic driver.” Apparently, he was illegally teaching his 14-year-old daughter to drive.
Through her attorney Lee Merrit’s Facebook page, Ponder described what happened to her:
“She found a parking space, gathered her belongings and prepared to make a quick run into Walmart but she was stopped. The same car found her in the parking lot and began berating her with profanity demanding to know why she maneuvered past the vehicle. The psychopath accosting her was police Chief Crews, who was (illegally) giving his 14 y/o driving lessons. Ever dignified and composed, Carmen ignored the tirade and continued into the store. Not use to being ignored, Crews continued “Whatever you Black Bitch!”
She also said that she was handcuffed, booked into jail and charged with evading arrest. She also spent 24 hours in jail:
“Carmen went into Walmart, purchased her item and began to return to her car. Crews had called for back up. A plain clothes unidentified officer wielding a badge informed her highness that the man she had pissed off was the chief of police and she had better apologize! She declined and continued graciously toward her vehicle. The cop grabbed her and shouted you’re not going anywhere, you’re being detained. Carmen complied and used her cell phone to call the police. When they arrived (of course) they spoke with the other officers and was told Carmen was evading arrest (no idea for what) and she was handcuffed and taken into custody. Miss Black Texas spent the night in jail. Her only crime … the color of her skin.”
Naturally, the City of Commerce says Ponder’s statements contradict with Crews and the responding officer’s. Yet in a new statement, the city manager says Crews has been placed on leave while they investigate the matter.
“For the benefit of the investigation, and in keeping with common practice, Chief Crews will be placed on administrative leave pending the results of the investigation. This is in no way an admission of any wrongdoing and should not be perceived as a disciplinary action. The work of the Commerce Police Department is essential to the community, and it is beneficial to both Chief Crews, the officers, and the City to allow him to serve without the distraction of an investigation clouding his day-to-day management of the department. Disciplinary action, if warranted, cannot be taken until after the investigation has concluded.
At this time, the City of Commerce will hold all additional comments until the investigation has progressed.”