Fort Worth

Commerce Chief Cleared in Probe of Beauty Queen's Arrest: City

The city of Commerce says an independent investigation has cleared Police Chief Kerry Crews of racial allegations in a case involving the Miss Black Texas US Ambassador 2016.

In a social media post last month the pageant winner, Carmen Ponder, alleged that Crews used a derogatory statement toward her in a Wal-Mart parking lot before she was arrested and charged with evading arrest or detention.

Ponder later admitted she may have confused Crews for someone else.

The city hired Fort Worth-based law firm Lynn, Ross and Gannaway, LLP to investigate the matter.

The city says in a statement released Monday that the investigation found no evidence that Crews was involved in the initial dispute with Ponder, and it also maintains that Ponder's arrest was not racially motivated.

In response, Ponder's attorney, S. Lee Merritt, tweeted Monday:

"I'm afraid @CityOfCommerce missed the point. Chief Crews directed the unlawful arrest of @CarmenSierraaa under unjustifiable circumstances."

Crews has been on administrative leave since the allegations surfaced May 25.

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