Chief Kerry Crews of Commerce, Tx., said he became emotional trying to settle a dispute over a traffic incident between Carmen Ponder, last year’s Miss Black Texas US Ambassador, and a school board trustee.
Kerry Crews, the police chief of Commerce, Tx., resigned after last month’s arrest of the 2016 Miss Black Texas US Ambassador, the Dallas Morning News reports. Crews left after backlash from the May 20 arrest of Carmen Ponder, a 23-year-old pre-law student at Texas A&M University Commerce, who was detained at a Wal-Mart after an encounter with local school board trustee Michael Beane. Ponder alleged that Beane cut her off on the road and noted that he was teaching his 14-year-old daughter how to drive. She said he called her a “black [expletive]” after she told him it was illegal for a child that age to be driving. Ponder’s attorney alleged that Crews, who was off-duty, approached Ponder in the parking lot and demanded that she apologize to Beane. When she refused, she was detained.
Crews said he believed the dispute was “something I could handle. I was wrong.” Crews said he was unprepared for Ponder’s response and became emotional. “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.”