Commerce Texas Police Chief Resigns One Month After Arrest of Miss Black Texas 2016

The police chief in Commerce, Kerry Crews, resigned Monday night during a city council meeting.

The resignation comes a little over one month after the controversial arrest of Miss Black Texas 2016.

Carmen Ponder, 23, initially said Crews was a white driver who allegedly made racial and sexist comments after a traffic-related dispute back on May 20.

Crews was not present at the Monday night's meeting. Instead a letter from Crews was read by the city's mayor.

In the letter, Crews said:

"As a result of being off-duty I was unprepared for the response I received from Ms. Ponder, and I became emotional. It had nothing to do with her race or gender, or anything other than what I felt was her disrespect of my position as an officer and as the police chief.

This emotional response was not the result of a single event or interaction. The past several years have been difficult in the City of Commerce, and they have worn on me. 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."

Authorities later determined a store parking-lot confrontation, after Ponder passed a vehicle, involved another white man teaching his daughter to drive.

Prosecutors cited a lack of evidence in the arrest. Charges were dropped against Ponder, and Crews was cleared of wrongdoing in her arrest.

Officials said Crews was off-duty, in plainclothes and in the store when he learned of the dispute. Ponder was arrested after allegedly walking away as the chief asked her to remain.

Crews continues in his resignation letter to say that he has been working with the City Manager and will soon transition into a Assistant to the City Manager position. Crews will be working with the city's planning efforts and other big projects in the city.

Commerce Independent School District board member Michael Beane announced his immediate resignation Tuesday morning, citing the firestorm surrounding him and his involvement in the incident.

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