Officer Who Detained Miss Black Texas in Walmart Parking Lot Resigns for Cushy New Job

Cropped view of police car with lights flashing pulling someone over.  Focus on the foreground.

Officer Who Detained Miss Black Texas in Walmart Parking Lot Resigns for Cushy New Job

Chief Kerry Crews will be stepping into a position he created.

Published May 25, 2017

Update June 27:

Commerce Police Chief Kerry Crews, the officer who detained and put his hands on Miss Black Texas, resigned on Monday. Before leaving his job, Crews created a new assistant to the city manager job, which he will be assuming soon, Dallas News reports.

Crews’ resignation came after the backlash that resulted from the May 20 arrest of Carmen Ponder, a 23-year-old pre-law student at Texas A&M University-Commerce. Ponder was detained after Commerce ISD school board trustee Michael Beane followed her to the Walmart parking lot and demanded she apologize for cutting him off on the road.

Ponder alleged that Beane said he was teaching his 14-year-old daughter how to drive and called her a "Black b*tch” when she said his actions were illegal.

In a prepared statement, Ponder's attorney Lee Merrit alleged that Crews, who was off-duty, demanded Ponder apologize to Beane. When she refused, she was detained.

Crews wrote in his letter that he intervened at the trustee's request. He said he felt the dispute was "something I could handle. I was wrong."

"It had nothing to do with her race or gender, or anything other than what I felt was her disrespect of my position as an officer and as the police chief," Crews said. "This emotional response was not the result of a single event or interaction. The past several years have been difficult in the city of Commerce, and they have worn on me."

Previous May 25:

A Miss Black Texas U.S. Ambassdor was arrested and jailed outside a Walmart after getting called a “black b***h” by an off duty police chief, reported The Root.

Carmen S. Ponder was driving to pick up some things from the store when she noticed a car driving somewhat erratically — making random stops, sudden acceleration and drifting in and out of the lane. Ponder assumed the driver may have been inebriated, so she put on her signal and drove around the car. 

Carmen S. Ponder was driving to pick up some things from the store when she noticed a car driving somewhat erratically — making random stops, sudden acceleration and drifting in and out of the lane. Ponder assumed the driver may have been inebriated, so she put on her signal and drove around the car.

When she finally arrived at Walmart, she realized the car had followed her and a man started yelling that he was teaching his 14-year-old how to drive and she should have never passed them. This man, Commerce Police Chief Kerry Crews, continued to scream at Ponder and insisted she apologize.

Ponder ignored his anger at first, but eventually told Crews his teaching his underage daughter to drive was illegal.

According to Ponder, Crews then said, “Oh whatever, you black b***h.”

Ponder then went into the Walmart and shopped. When she returned to her car, she saw Crews with another man who flashed his badge and told her that she needed to apologize. Ponder tried to go back to her car when the officer allegedly grabbed her and said she was being detained. 

Ponder then phone 911, yet when the officers arrived, they were told she was evading arrest and she was put in handcuffs and taken to jail for the night.

  1. Ponder wrote a detailed account of what she experienced and it was circulated on Facebook
  2. Her attorney, Lee Merritt, also wrote a lengthy post about the injustice Ponder experienced

    Ponder is trying to raise $10,000 on You Caring for attorney’s fees to fight the charges.

    “My family is a typical middle class family and we do not have any wiggle room to afford the attorney’s fees and city charges. I am a full-time student looking for permanent employment and this charge will hinder my job search,” Ponder wrote. “I will not be able to pass a background check for anything.”

  3. Ponder's arrest received much criticism and anger from people on Facebook

Written by Rachel Herron

(Photo: Kali9/Getty Images)

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