Outside Investigation Launched In Arrest Of Miss Black Texas

COMMERCE (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — An East Texas city has asked a law firm to investigate the arrest of Miss Black Texas 2016 after she and officers gave differing accounts of an incident.

Carmen Ponder says police in Commerce arrested her Saturday after a confrontation with a motorist who made a racist and sexist comment toward her. Ponder identified the driver as Police Chief Kerry Crews.

The pageant winner says officers arrested her as she left a Wal-Mart and told her to apologize to Crews, which she refused. The young woman was charged with evading arrest or detention and held in the Hunt County Jail overnight.

The city says, in a statement issued Thursday, that Crews was shopping off-duty and responded to the incident, but wasn’t driving the truck.

With each side telling a different story about what happened, officials in the City of Commerce issued a statement that said, in part –

“Since the incident there have been a number of statements made about the details of the incident, and many of these details do not align with the statements provided by Chief Crews and the responding officer. As such, the City is engaging an outside entity to conduct an investigation into the incident to objectively review and determine the acts.”

Chief Crews has been placed on leave during the investigation.

Ponder’s attorney says she may have misidentified the driver, but was still wrongfully arrested.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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