Police in Commerce, Texas, on Tuesday dropped evading arrest charges against a former Miss Black Texas winner who said she was called a derogatory slur and arrested during a racially charged incident on May 20, reports WFAA-TV.
Carmen Ponder, 23, a paralegal studies major at Texas A&M-Commerce and plans to go to law school after her graduation in December, said she wanted charges “off of her record.” Hunt County Attorney Joel Littlefield filed paperwork saying that “insufficient evidence” was the reason for dismissing the charges after Ponder was arrested by Commerce Police Chief Kerry Crews, writes the television news outlet.
Ponder, who won her beauty pageant title last year, said she was followed by an angry motorist into a grocery store parking lot on May 20. The former beauty queen said the motorist referred to her as a “black b***h” as she walked into the store. Upon exiting the store, she said in her initial account, officer Crews, who was dressed in plain clothes, ordered her to apologize to the other driver.
Explaining the incident to police, Ponder also said Crews allowed his 14-year-old daughter to illegally operate a vehicle, reports the New York Daily News.
Results of an independent investigation released Monday by the City of Commerce cleared Crews of Ponder’s allegations, saying there was no evidence of a racially motivated arrest or statement. According to the investigation, Crews also did not let his teen daughter operate a vehicle, notes the News.
Ponder’s attorney, S. Lee Merritt called his client’s arrest “unconstitutional,” echoing many Black Americans who have seen Blacks wrongfully arrested for crimes.
Good thing Ponder had the wherewithal to prevent her legal career from being derailed by a bogus criminal charge, which has sidelined so many people color. We wish her luck in her future endeavors.