Police Chief on Leave After Arrest of Miss Black Texas

Carmen Ponder accuses Kerry Crews of wrongful arrest and corruption
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2017 6:56 PM CDT

(Newser) – The winner of Miss Black Texas 2016 is alleging assault, wrongful arrest, and official corruption against a Texas police chief and other officers after she spent 24 hours in jail this past weekend, the Root reports. According to NBC DFW, Carmen Ponder says she was driving to Walmart on Saturday when a truck cut her off while driving erratically. She passed the truck and pulled into the Walmart parking lot. Ponder says the truck followed her and she was accosted by Commerce police chief Kerry Crews, who was in the passenger seat. Ponder says Crews was "yelling and cussing" at her that he was teaching his 14-year-old daughter to drive and that Ponder shouldn't have passed them. She says Crews called her a "black bitch" when she informed him that letting his 14-year-old daughter drive was illegal.

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Ponder says when she left the store, she was confronted by plain clothes officers who demanded she apologize to Crews. She refused and was arrested. Ponder was later charged with evading arrest. In a Facebook post, Ponder's attorney says his client's only crime was "the color of her skin." The city has placed Crews on leave during an investigation into the incident, but it states Ponder's account conflicts with that of Crews and another officer. Crews says he wasn't involved in the initial argument between two motorists and only got involved when one of them approached him. The city doesn't say who the other motorist was. Ponder is a Dean's List student at Texas A&M and an intern with the Hunt County District Attorney. (Read more Texas stories.)

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