Former Miss Black Texas sues the city of Commerce and its ex police chief over her 'unlawful' arrest after claiming she was called a 'black b****' in Walmart parking lot altercation
- Carmen Ponder filed the lawsuit on Monday in Dallas over her May 2017 arrest
- Ponder's lawsuit says then-police Chief Kerry Crews arrested her without reason
- She was arrested during an altercation over a traffic incident with another driver
- Crews resigned the following month and took an administrative job with the city
- Former beauty pageant winner Ponder was Miss Black Texas in 2016
A former Miss Black Texas is suing the city of Commerce and its ex police chief over her 'unlawful' arrest after claiming she was called a 'black b****' in Walmart parking lot altercation.
Carmen Ponder filed the federal civil rights lawsuit Monday in Dallas over her May 2017 evading arrest charge that was later dropped.
The former beauty pageant winner's lawsuit says Commerce's then-police Chief Kerry Crews, who was off-duty, arrested her without reason during a confrontation over a traffic incident involving another driver, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
Ponder, who won the Miss Black Texas competition in 2016, claimed the truck passenger, later identified as Michael Beane, had followed her into a Walmart parking lot amid a driving dispute before allegedly calling her 'black b****'.
But the Fort Worth law firm Lynn, Ross and Gannaway said at the time the arrest was not racially motivated and Beane denied making any racist remarks.
Crews resigned the following month, took an administrative job with the city and now is a justice of the peace.
The lawsuit alleges an unlawful arrest and claims that the city 'failed to properly train, supervise, screen, discipline, transfer, counsel or otherwise control officers.'
Carmen Ponder filed the federal civil rights lawsuit Monday in Dallas over her May 2017 evading arrest charge that was later dropped. Ponder's lawsuit says Commerce's then-police Chief Kerry Crews, who was off-duty, arrested her without reason during a confrontation over a traffic incident involving another driver
Ponder is seeking at least $150,000 from Crews and $300,000 from the city, The Herald Banner reports.
Commerce City Manager Darrek Ferrell and the city's attorney, Jay Garrett, declined comment on Ponder's lawsuit.
Crews didn't immediately return a message for comment Wednesday.
In her account Ponder said she was driving to Walmart on May 20 when a black pickup truck cut in front of her and began driving erratically.
She said the car was braking and accelerating dangerously, and she worried it was a drunk driver.
Ponder wrote that she put her blinker on, pulled around to pass the truck and drove into the superstore parking lot.
According to Ponder, the black truck followed her into the lot and pulled up next to where she'd parked her car.
She said the passenger got out of the truck and started yelling and screaming that he was teaching his 14-year-old daughter how to drive, saying Ponder shouldn't have passed his truck.
Ponder wrote that she ignored the man at first, but eventually turned to tell him 'it's illegal' about a 14-year-old driving, before walking into the store.
'That's when he screamed 'oh whatever, you black b****.''
Ponder is seeking at least $150,000 from Crews and $300,000 from the city
Ponder was then handcuffed following the incident, pictured, and booked into jail, where she spent 24 hours
She said when she walked out she saw Crews there and was quickly charged by several other officers in street clothes.
'One guy showed me his police badge and started screaming at me. He told me this guy was his chief and I better apologize to him now. I told him I was going to do that and was walking to my car,' she explained.
Next, one of the men grabbed her by the arm and pulled her roughly back into WalMart, telling her she was being detained, she claimed.
When police came, she said: 'I began walking to the policeman when the aggressive guy pulled me by my arm again, told the cop that I was resisting arrest and demanded he arrest me.'
Ponder was then handcuffed and booked into jail, where she spent 24 hours.