Miss Black Texas 2016 is claiming she was harassed and berated by a North Texas Police Chief who called her a "black b----," before being unlawfully detained and arrested.
According to an NBC affiliate in Texas, Carmen Ponder is calling for police accountability and wants charges filed against Commerce Police Chief Kerry Crews.
Ponder wrote on her Twitter account that she was driving to a Wal-Mart on Saturday when a truck cut in front of her car. She said the truck was driving erratically. Ponder said she turned on her blinker, pulled around to pass the truck and drove into the Wal-Mart parking lot.
According to Ponder, the truck driver followed her and pulled up next to her in the parking lot. She said the passenger, later identified as Crews, got out of his truck and yelled that he was teaching his 14-year-old daughter how to drive. Crews allegedly told Ponder that she should not have passed his truck.
Ponder said she ignored the man but eventually told him what he did was illegal before she walked into Walmart.
"He continued yelling and cussing me out and I finally turned around and said 'It's illegal,' when he kept saying that it was a 14 year old driving," Ponder wrote. "That's when he screamed 'oh whatever, you black b----!'"
After making a purchase at Walmart, Ponder said she left the store only to be charged by several other officers in plain clothes.
“One of them shoved his badge in her face, told her that she ‘better apologize to the police chief,’ but my client declined to do so,” Ponder's attorney Lee Merritt said in an NBC report. “One of the officers grabbed her, pulled her back into Wal-Mart, and told her she was being detained. When other officers arrived she walked back to her car to explain what happened. An officer grabbed her and demanded she be arrested for resisting arrest. She has bruises on her arms from where she was grabbed.”
Ponder was handcuffed, booked into jail, and charged with evading arrest. She spent 24 hours behind bars. Authorities said Crews was placed on administrative leave while an outside organization conducts an investigation.
Ponder studies law at Texas A&M University-Commerce. She is a Dean’s List student, a paralegal intern at a district attorney’s office, and a former Miss Black Texas U.S. Ambassador.
[Photo courtesy of Facebook]