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The Commerce Police Chief Who Arrested Miss Black Texas has Resigned

The Commerce ISD trustee who started the confrontation resigned as well.

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Backlash after the May 20 arrest of Carmen Ponder, the 2016 Miss Black Texas U.S. Ambassador, has led to the resignation of the Commerce Police Chief Kerry Crews and Commerce ISD school board trustee Michael Beane. “Neither Beane nor Crews accept responsibility for their actions, nor the pain they caused Ms. Ponder, but they have been sure to paint themselves as victims of the Black Lives Matter movement,” Ponder’s lawyer, Lee Merritt, said in a statement to the Root. “Ms. Ponder’s experience with both of these men shows why they would allude to this.”

The afternoon of May 20, Ponder—a 23-year-old pre-law student at Texas A&M at Commerce—was involved in an traffic-related incident with someone she initially identified as Crews. Later, she would clarify that it was Beane who approached her at Walmart. Ponder said that Beane had cut her off as he attempted to teach his 14-year-old daughter to drive. When Ponder pointed out that the teenager should not be driving, Beane allegedly called her a “black bitch” (the police report only says “bitch”).

During the confrontation, Beane spotted Crews, who was off-duty and in plain clothes, in the Walmart parking lot, and told him about the incident. Crews ordered Ponder to answer his questions. She refused. According to media reports, Crews wanted Ponder to apologize.

There’s video of what happened next. Ponder, in the entryway to the store, is in the middle of a confrontation with two men, one of whom briefly flashes a police badge at her. She makes a call to someone she says is her lawyer, explaining the situation—”I have someone who says they’re an officer trying to detain me. He’s the friend of a guy who called me a black bitch at the Walmart parking lot. He’s telling me that I’m being detained and he’s waiting for officers to get here. I’m trying to get in my car and leave. They stood outside and waited for me to come outside. They’re blocking the door.”

Eventually, a police car arrives at the scene. When it does, Ponder begins to exit the entryway and Crews grabs her. She tells him that she’s trying to go to the police car as the uniformed officer gets out of the vehicle and approaches—at which point Crews orders the officer, who just arrived at the scene, to put Ponder in handcuffs. The officer grabs Ponder’s arms as he takes her to his car, as she shouts a phone number to a woman observing the encounter. Crews orders Ponder to “talk about what happened a while ago” to the officer who just handcuffed her, and Ponder says that she wants to talk to someone else. At that point, she’s put in the back of the police car. Shortly after, Ponder was charged with evading arrest. Those charges have since been dropped.

Ponder hired Merritt, a Dallas-area civil rights attorney, to represent her. The City of Commerce hired an outside law firm, Fort Worth-based Lynn, Ross, and Gannaway, to investigate Ponder’s claims that she was discriminated against. Lynn, Ross, and Gannaway didn’t find evidence to substantiate the claim that Ponder’s arrest was racially motivated, but Crews—who was on leave pending the investigation—opted to resign on Monday regardless. In a statement provided to the mayor, Crews explained that, though he had been told that uniformed officers had been called to the scene on May 20, he decided to intervene.

“I felt it was something I could handle,” he wrote. “I was wrong.” Crews explained that he became “emotional” because he was “unprepared for the response” from Ponder, who he felt was disrespectful of his position as the police chief, “as a result of being off-duty.”

“The past several years have been difficult in the City of Commerce, and they have worn on me,” Crews explained. “After all that has gone on in the last few weeks, I do not feel that I can continue to bear the weight of the Police Chief position.” Although Crews is leaving his position within the Commerce Police Department, he’s not out of a job—he’ll be transitioning to a newly-created position in the city as assistant to the city manager.

On Tuesday morning, Beane resigned from his role at the Commerce Independent School District, as well. Beane said that, while he believed that neither he nor Crews did anything wrong, the attention on Commerce as a result of the encounter was bad for the town. “We don’t need to be held hostage,” Beane told reporters.

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  • Justin Mayes

    Their behavior was absolutely uncalled for. I don’t understand how some law enforcement officers feel like they can do this and get away with it. This is the age of technology. There are cameras and microphones everywhere. Sadly, this will perpetuate the stigma that Texas law enforcement is stuck in the 1960’s and haven’t given up segregation.

    • Otto Hansen

      Power, literally, changes your brain.

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    • St. Anger

      “perpetuate the stigma” or simply confirm the reality?

    • Ron Hustleman Harris

      Because they know they ..ARE ABOVE THE LAW!

    • lilylongflower1

      angry and violent white males are not punished in America, they are provided excuses and given a pass on this behavior.

      many males become cops because they feel so powerless in their own lives. these immature males with tiny hands and huge egos gravitate toward jobs that give them power and authority over others…a badge is their license to act with violence and aggression toward others who can do nothing to oppose them.

      i worked many years for a judge so came into contact with many cops, 98% of the ones i met over a period of many years fit this bill.

      as you can imagine, i am terrified of police, i know them too well.

    • Heywood Jablowme

      Real simple: Most members of society have been convinced that in spite of crime rates going down every year, that we’re all constantly in danger of being a victim. People see the police as their only defense against being one of those victims, so they give cops a wide berth. A little violation of your rights here and there is all worth it to some.

  • hello159

    I would be outraged if someone in the parking lot demanded of apology for something they thought I did when driving when they were probably at fault I’d be so pissed off if somebody try to make me apologize especially police officer I would not do it either

  • UdonNo

    us white folks always like to be in control. that is our gift and curse.

    • Dave Jennifer

      It’s a superiority complex that’s passed on from generation to generation.

      • Pepe Le Pew

        Similar to the generational passing of small packages too I guess.

  • coloneljames

    “Although Crews is leaving his position within the Commerce Police Department, he’s not out of a job—he’ll be transitioning to a newly-created position in the city as assistant to the city manager.”

    It definitely sounds like he’s some government bureaucrat’s brother-in-law.

    • MaximumOvertroll

      resigned to a cushy do nothing promotion of a special snowflake position made just for him.

  • Deckard Cain

    Michael Beane and Kerry Crews are cowards and liars.

  • Matthew Rosner

    Whether he is on or off duty, he does not automatically deserve respect. Nothing in the video I have seen show that respect was warranted. By allowing Crews to resign instead of firing him as he deserved, he will still collect his police pension; by giving him a new position they will allow him to double dip. This type of police officer is just as bad as the shoot first, identify the threat second officers that are all over the news.

    • In fact, it’s worse than that. The new position he’s getting has a pay that is higher than his previous position. Not to mention it’s a position that didn’t exist and they’re creating it for him. So basically he’s accused of helping his racist friend arrest an innocent woman. Walmart worker was witness and verified that claim. It becomes a media sensation and instead of firing him, they let him resign to keep his pension, then make up a new job for him with a higher pay. Sounds like Commerce Texas has a racism problem.

      • St. Anger

        whoda thunk?

    • Nuus Maan

      Commerce? It’s not just a name….

  • Chris Henry

    Good I hope somebody does that to his kid dumbass peckerwoods

    • Shelli Dill

      Well, yeah, Beane has a DAUGHTER, maybe he should think about someone treating her unfairly someday. Ms.Ponder is someone’s beloved daughter too.

  • REALConservative

    There you go, you heard it straight from a cop himself who was so much of a coward he had to get someone else read out why he did the idiotic thing he did….it was because he felt he deserved respect simply because of what he did for a living, which is be nothing more than another parasitic gov’t employee with a superiority complex.

    Long past are the days when it was respectable to be a cop in America, and yes, I am a conservative white male. Always have been, always will be. The cops better get used to a growing number of Americans becoming fed up with their crap.

  • Steven Keane

    Sickening!! Complete overhaul of all Police Departments

  • How come there’s a Miss Black Texas U.S. Ambassador? Who’s the white one,Mexican one? Sounds racist. She didn’t look to terribly scared since she was smiling and laughing throughout. The other point is,obviously you don’t have to be too bright to be a cop.

    • garyisabusyguy

      Maybe you do not understand, so as one middle-aged white man to another, let me explain it to you.
      There is a Miss America pageant. For a very long time, there were only white contestants, making it the defacto white Miss America. In this same time-frame the Black community decided to have their own pageant, which has continued to this day.
      So, the reason that there is one is based on racism (white racism against blacks to be accurate)

      • I do understand,but,that was then,this is now. If there was a Miss White Texas,or America,or anything else,the outrage would be borderline hysterical. Since it was white people that,for all intents and purposes,created and built this country,it’s fairly obvious why their institutions and traditions were confined to white folks. But today,with laws on the books that perpetuate the myth of equality of the races,there is no need for contests or any other activity that caters to race.

        • mf2112

          The pageants are still 90+% white contestants if you didn’t know. White people aren’t 90+% of the population any more. Correlation does not equal causation, but it does seem that there might be a thumb on the scales.

        • kliggins

          White people built this country? Really? I guess the slaves just stood around and watched them work. Makes sense…if you’re a dumbass.

          • Yes,white people built this country. blacks served as bipedal farm animals. That basically was the limit of their abilities,save a small handful.I’m sure you’ve never read a history book,but if you were to,you’d find that when whites showed up in sub-Saharan Africa,the natives,who had thousands of years head start according to the wizards of smart anthropologists,were living just as they had for thousands of years,no modern medicine,science,technology of any kind. Just running around in loin cloths,chunkin’ spears at one another and shrinkin’ heads. Oh,and by the way,trading black slaves among each other as they still do today.

          • Insanitea

            Thanks for confirming kliggins’ diagnosis. You are indeed a dumbass.

          • And you’re an uneducated,clueless,truth denying moron. So what’s your point? I can prove everything I say. You can’t.

          • Insanitea

            Actually I have a graduate degree in history, so I know about various African civilizations such as Mali, Dahomey etc. I also know that the practice of shrinking heads was limited to a fairly small region of the Amazon, which I probably have to tell you is not in Africa.

          • No,you don’t have to tell me anything. I love the way you pointy headed smart guy wannabes take a seriocomic,metaphorical statement and try to critique and analyze in order to prove your mental superiority. Everyone with any brain at all knows that Africans weren’t smart enough to get the head shrinkin’ gig right. Their forte’ was/is spear chuckin’. For proof of my observations,just fast forward to the present. If not for the western(white)technology that they are employing most effectively to slaughter each other,they’d still be running around in loin cloths,chuckin’ spears,and you,my smart guy wannabe friend,can’t disprove that in any way. Subsaharan Africans have no intellectual,scientific,medical,or engineering achievements of any significant kind,period!

          • Insanitea

            You are not only ignorant scum, you are actually proud of it. I’m done with you.

          • Of course you are. Pathetic losers like you can’t handle the truth. Truth to you libtard rodents is like Kryptonite to Superman. Your username describes you to a T. I figure when your momma gave birth to you,she thought she was only experiencing a bowel movement,but,here you came,dead on arrival,,,,,cerebrally.

          • Insanitea

            You wouldn’t know the truth if it bit you, you puerile little sh!t. I’d say that the only thing you are good for is organ donation, but I’m afraid your spleen would poison the recipient. Go wallow in your hate and misery.

          • HAHAHAHA! You pathetic libtard mongrels are hilarious when you get called out on your ignorance and lies. I’ll wager the only graduate degree you have is in Stupid Imbecile 101. You obviously think that just because you’re the smartest window licker ridin’ the short bus,that it gives you license to spew out vile commentary and tripe. A little tip.”Better to remain silent and thought a fool,than to speak and remove all doubt.” Follow that rule and you should do just fine. HAHAHAHA! Idiot!!!

          • And here’s my diagnosis for you and kliggins,you both have just enough brain cells floating around in that vacuum between your ears to make your body functions work. You two imbeciles are definitely victims of the Dunning/Kruger Effect. See a shrink,,,,,,soon.

          • Insanitea

            Wow. Did you really spend five days thinking up a comeback? The only thing sadder than that is the fact that this is all you could come up with.

          • I have better things to do,like working,than to live on the computer responding to two Lenny and Squiggy wannabes like you and you moronic alter ego kliggins. Maybe you two mongoloids can combine the force of your special ed prowess and come up with something witty yourself.

          • Sweet Pickle

            It is better to let people think you are a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

          • That’s why you should steer clear of comment sections. Furthermore,if you’re gonna use a quote,at least put in the time and effort to get it right. It goes,”Better to remain silent and thought a fool,than to speak and remove all doubt.” Ignoramus,,,,,,

          • That’s precisely why you should steer clear of comment sections. At least have the courtesy of putting in an effort and some research if you’re gonna use a quote. It goes “Tis better to remain silent and thought a fool,than to speak and remove all doubt.” Obviously it’s too late for you.

        • Nice Marmot

          Let me remind you that in America, you can have any kind of contest you want. You know, free speech? That relieves you of the burden of passing judgment on everything that comes your way.

          • No,you can’t without being excoriated as a racist bigot,unless that is,you’re a “person of color.”

        • disquspusk

          Compare it more to a Miss Italian America or miss polish American contest. All off a sudden not racist and okay. I know… Your mind is blown, right?

          • Not at all since those contest don’t exist on a large stage and are confined to local ethnic communities.

        • garyisabusyguy

          Wow that got really gross, really fast. Kind of made me throw up in my mouth a little. Please get out into the world and give your self a chance to learn more before spouting off again.

          • The truth really unhinges you pointy headed libtard morons,doesn’t it? Every single thing I said is irrefutable truth. I,unlike you brainwashed libtard lemmings,research thoroughly before I make statements.Try reading an unrevised history book instead of talking points from leftist rags. If you’re really into throwing up,just close your eyes and visualize Hillary naked,spread eagle on the bed. If that doesn’t make you spew,nothing will.

          • garyisabusyguy

            Yep, going straight from racist rhetoric to insults, scum like you rarely rises above the bottom where you feed on muck

          • You libtard trash are beyond pathetic. You’re so breathtakingly stupid that one has to wonder how you survive. Truth is not rhetoric. EVERYTHING I said is true and irrefutable. Look it up asswipe! And if that visual of the Hildebeast doesn’t make you hurl,then you are truly a sick pervert. Just because you consider yourself the smartest window licker ridin’ the short bus,doesn’t make you right. You should confine your activities to swatting at flies and leave the commenting to us adults.

          • garyisabusyguy

            LOL, I hope that you get paid for trolling, because at least you will get something for debasing yourself

          • It’s quite entertaining when you pointy headed retards get your asses handed to you in a debate(which is 100% of the time).Y’all try to be cool,witty, and chuckle a little in a futile attempt to throw it off,but,you still come off as a pathetic loser.

          • garyisabusyguy

            Look sparky, your ‘winning’ the debate, in your mind, was when you trotted out some racist claptrap and pretty much smeared the walls with mental feces.

            So yeah, you ‘won’ just like some prisoner in solitary ‘wins’ by smearing their cell with feces before getting sprayed with a firehose and hit with some clozapine… yay

          • Look,you’re a mental midget and deep down inside you know it.So,just STFU and quit embarrassing yourself. The Dunning/Kruger Effect obviously has you by the balls and won’t let go. Be honest and change your username to a more realistic garyisastupidguy and let’s move on. Truth is not Kryptonite and you’re most definitely not Superman,so quit dodging it.

  • Pepe Le Pew

    Total abuse of power — and this is just some low life board of education chump and his pal the racist cop.

    if someone tried to “detain” me for absolutely no reason and without arrest, I would go through the roof. And no self-respecting person should put up with that and no one should have to put up with that.

  • Beane and Crews did nothing wrong? Sigh…

  • Txtraveler

    It’s subtle, but there was definitely racism here. It’s a shame too, because getting upset at being passed on the road is certainly unworthy of anyone in the position these men hold.

  • James Windsor

    What racist crap from those white people. The woman is lucky that stupid police chief did not shoot her and then get a grand jury to find him innocent.

  • Patriot #14,375,321

    It does sound like the a-holes abused their power and Ms. Ponder deserves recompense, but I must say that even having such a title as “Miss Black Texas” is RACIST as hell…try having a “Miss White Texas” and Al, Jesse, NBP, BLM, and the PC media idiots would march and riot and report it 24/7 for weeks…

    • nevenera

      This is why you have the black “miss” contests, trying to fight racism..is not as many try to say these days.. racist

      To protest the racist exclusion of Black women from Miss America, the African American community put on a contest of their own in 1968, on the same day as the Miss America contest in Atlantic City. While they were excluded from participation in the Miss America pageant, Black communities around the U.S. had been holding their own beauty pageants for decades.

      • mikekrohde

        But don’t you see the inherent danger in hosting their own contest and excluding whites? Why, a white person might not win a trophy or something, this is revolution that needs to be nipped in the bud.

        • disquspusk

          I’m gonna blow your mind a little bit here, but a more apt comparison would be Ms polish American or miss Italian American, which would all of a sides be okay. Ms white America? Gross. Sorry, but white supremacists coopted those terms many decades ago.

          • mikekrohde

            That was a lame attempt at humor on my part. I thought it was absurd to suggest a white person might be harmed by not winning a trophy.

  • James Morgan

    There’s no law against being a “bitch,” but I’d be curious to see how the original confrontation went down.

  • John Smith

    I’ve yelled at cops who have done stupid stuff (like nearly causing an accident racing to stop me for going 8mph over the speed limit.). this woman was far nicer than I have ever been with the police. They’re just dicks here.

  • LogicalPosition

    I’m sure Ms Ponder’s reasoning was DinDoNuffin, and she told Mr Beane to F off. These entitled people of privilege are now openly rude to WyPiPo whenever the opportunity arises. Dey gots rights!
    Miss BLACK Texas, WTF is THAT about? They now have their own SEGREGATED awards? She doesn’t look 100% black, or Mulatto. Quadroon, octoroon, maybe? Does the one drop rule apply?
    When is White America gonna start defending itself from these azz clowns?

    • Insanitea

      A lot of us are much more concerned about people like you.

    • Nice Marmot

      To answer your final question, white America, in this case, controls the police in this town, the city government, the state government, and the federal one. My question to you is when are conservatives going to stop whining about being the victim in nearly every imaginable circumstance?

    • disquspusk

      I’d hardly consider openly racist and proud the logicalposition, but herpa-derp as you will…

  • mikekrohde

    A young black woman is rousted by local police who happen to be white and in Texas. Should I say it? SHOCKER!

  • Beegowl

    Racism in East Texas? It weighs on all its residents like an invisible cloak. The white people of good will in Commerce, who want the world to be a better place, need to step up and condemn all racism, including this incident of white male privilege.

  • jeff B

    I have traveled the world, Texas makes the third world look good. Remember Texans revolted against Mexico because they were outlawing slavery.

  • bobmerk

    I just woke up … is it 1958 again? Guess so in Texas …

  • jeff B

    There is a growing consensus that it is not safe or intelligent to travel to Southern Red States, and I’m white. The fact that every idiot in the South packs a gun keeps me from bringing my children there. Mexico is a lot safer and a lot cheaper.

  • jeff B

    It has never gotten past 1858 in Texas, I

  • mhtexas

    I would say “No place but Texas” but that would be wrong. Nothing irritates redneck “authorities” more than an assertive woman, especially an assertive woman of color, who refuses to be intimidated. Since we can’t reach their hard hearts or closed minds, let’s hope videocams, witnesses, and public condemnation will help curb their bad behavior until a far less bigoted generation takes over.

  • Sean OReilly

    This is another glaring example of ignorance in action. Aside from your pitiful behavior. Is the example you set . The reward for doing the job perfect is getting to keep it another day. You make it hard on every other cop trying to do the job and give the cop haters ammo to boot. Good riddance to another bad cop. Now, go read the articles of freedom and take some accountibility for your shameful behavior. That shield is to protect the public not your racisism.

  • Johners

    In the old days, ya know the days Trump alludes to at his rallies, they would have just hung her. They can barely get away with that anymore, must be rough.

  • douglas gray

    By far the worst aspect of this case is the blatant corruption of being hired to another high paying position in the City. That part is really awful and the entire City Government should be ashamed of itself.

  • Ted Rogers

    what she should have said for the tape is, and said it anyway is:

    she should not have tried to walk by. UNLESS she wants to get faksely areested and then sue them. i’ve done that.
    it’s up to you.

    and NO there’s no law says anyine has to be nice, at all. so phooey to your stinkin apology.

  • Stuart Matsumoto

    Right or wrong you video tape it to get when this is and you take it up with the judge you don’t try to evade the police in any circumstance D escalation is best from any party or all parties it doesn’t matter whether you’re right or wrong it only matters if you get your day in court trying to run or trying to evade or be argumentative just makes things worse is the one thing that a lot of these groups don’t get is that regardless of what your rights are you want your rights to be expressed in court not in public so that means if someone’s breaking the law that you can hold them accountable fighting them arguing with them trying to evade arrest even if it’s unjust is not the way to go can somebody please tell all these movements that that’s the way it should work

  • bigdaddy

    They are always trouble.Nothing but trouble.

  • soccermomx3

    Makes you wonder how many times the chief got away with this type of behavior in the past.

  • rlibos

    These pigs should have not just lost their jobs, they should have been prosecuted for harassment.

  • don76550

    If her story is true, that law enforcement officer should be charged with official oppression and possibly perjury.

  • Joe Bender

    yeah….that “assistant to the city manager” job is about to go bye bye

    you dont just get to create a job for your police chief buddy

    taxpayers…..step up down there and get rid of this guy….you have ALL the power