Carmen went into Walmart, purchased her item and began to return to her car. Crews had called for back up. A plain clothes unidentified officer wielding a badge informed her highness that the man she had pissed off was the chief of police and she had better apologize! She declined and continued graciously toward her vehicle. The cop grabbed her and shouted you’re not going anywhere, you’re being detained. Carmen complied and used her cell phone to call the police. When they arrived (of course) they spoke with the other officers and was told Carmen was evading arrest (no idea for what) and she was handcuffed and taken into custody. Miss Black Texas spent the night in jail. Her only crime … the color of her skin.
Ponder was verbally and physically assaulted, and ultimately arrested, because a racist white man with a superiority complex, fragile masculinity and a badge decided to show her how little black women matter to him and his department.
How dare Ponder not cower before him?
How dare she not apologize and show him deference?
How dare she embarrass him—by doing none of the above—in front of his white daughter, who is already being taught that white men can do whatever they want, that she is above the law and that black women are supposed to do what they’re told?
This is just the latest example of why black women’s relationship with the state, and the many ways in which state violence specifically harms black women, are front and center in the Movement for Black Lives.
Merritt is also the attorney for Jacqueline Craig—who was assaulted by Fort Worth, Texas, Police Officer William Martin after she called police seeking help after a neighbor attacked her son—and for the family of 15-year-old Jordan Edwards, who was killed by Balch Springs, Texas, Police Officer Roy Oliver.
In a statement to The Root, Merritt said that justice is a must in this case. His office is demanding Crews’ resignation and filing criminal charges against him and the attending officers for assault, wrongful arrest and official corruption.
“Unfortunately, as an official representative of ‘Black Texas,’ Carmen’s story embodies the black experience with law enforcement,” Merritt said. “It is our responsibility to address this reality with sobriety and commitment. We demand justice in this case and will seek it from every possible angle.”
The Root reached out to the Commerce Police Department, which declined to issue a comment.