Sunday, July 09, 2017
Backlash after the May 20 arrest of Carmen Ponder, the 2016 Miss Black Texas U.S. Ambassador, has led to the resignation of the Commerce Police Chief Kerry Crews and Commerce ISD school board trustee Michael Beane. ... The afternoon of May 20, Ponder -- a 23-year-old pre-law student at Texas A&M at Commerce -- was involved in an traffic-related incident with someone she initially identified as Crews. Later, she would clarify that it was Beane who approached her at Walmart. Ponder said that Beane had cut her off as he attempted to teach his 14-year-old daughter to drive. When Ponder pointed out that the teenager should not be driving, Beane allegedly called her a "black bitch" (the police report only says "bitch").
During the confrontation, Beane spotted Crews, who was off-duty and in plain clothes, in the Walmart parking lot, and told him about the incident. Crews ordered Ponder to answer his questions. She refused. According to media reports, Crews wanted Ponder to apologize.
There's video of what happened next.
"I felt it was something I could handle," he wrote. "I was wrong." Crews explained that he became "emotional" because he was "unprepared for the response" from Ponder, who he felt was disrespectful of his position as the police chief, "as a result of being off-duty."
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