A beauty pageant winner is suing a Texas city and its former police chief for a wrongful arrest following a road rage incident during which she was called a “black bitch,” according to a federal civil rights lawsuit.
Carmen Ponder, a 25-year-old Dallas woman who won the Miss Black Texas competition in 2016, alleged in a lawsuit filed Monday that the city of Commerce’s then-police chief, Kerry Crews, arrested her on a charge of evading arrest without cause after a confrontation with another driver who shouted obscenities and racial slurs at her, the Dallas Morning News reports.
Ponder — who, according to her lawsuit, is seeking more than $450,000 in damages — was driving to a Walmart in Commerce in May 2017 when she saw an “erratic” motorist whom she suspected to be a drunken driver.
A man later identified as Michael Beane, a trustee for the Commerce Independent School District, got out of the car at the Walmart and began yelling profanities at Ponder, claiming he had been teaching his 14-year-old daughter how to drive at the time, the lawsuit alleges.
Ponder said the man’s daughter was too young to be behind the wheel, prompting Beane to call her a “black bitch,” according to the suit.
Crews, who was off-duty at the time, later approached Ponder after hearing Beane’s account and “aggressively demanded that she apologize to the man who accosted her earlier using racial slurs,” the lawsuit states.
Ponder was taken into custody by another officer on a charge of evading arrest and remained behind bars for a day before she was released. Prosecutors in Hunt County later dropped the charge she faced, the Dallas Morning News reports.
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SOURCE: New York Post, Joshua Rhett Miller