As a person who has driven in the streets of New York City, I have experienced my fair share of road rage. By no means is it fun; you begin to perspire, you get hot flashes and you just hope and pray that the individual who is hell on wheels will ultimately just drive around you honk his or her horn, perhaps throw you the bird and keep it moving!

Unfortunately, this was not the case for Carmen Ponder, a 23 year old pre law student at Texas A&M University. Instead of being helped by a police officer in this type of situation, Carmen was harassed and berated and ultimately unlawfully detained in a Walmart Parking lot.

It was a typical day; Carmen was headed out to run some errands at Walmart. On her drive to Walmart,  a black truck cut in front of her and began driving erratically, pressing the breaks and accelerating. As a result,  she put her signal on, passed the truck and drove into the Walmart parking lot. The black truck followed her into the parking lot and then pulled next to her. An individual jumped out of the truck and yelled that he was teaching his 14 year old son how to drive and that she should not have passed his truck! The individual was insistent that she should not have done that and as a result Carmen responded that it was Illegal for a 14 year old to be driving. The individual responded “Whatever you Black Bitch!” Carmen then continued on her way to Walmart.

Here is where things get a little shall we say “privileged.” As she exited Walmart, she was approached by several officers in plain clothing who told her that she better apologize to the Police Chief.

kerry-crews

Can you believe it!!!  The individual who let his 14 year old son drive was the Police Chief, Kerry Crews. She declined to do so and was then advised that she was being detained! Carmen used her cell phone to call police and when they arrived the other officers advised that she was resisting arrest (of course). She was handcuffed and taken into custody where she spent 24 hours in jail.

This is the definition of #Privilege and Abuse of Authority. Here we have an individual who as actually breaking the law and used his authority as chief of police to arrest a law abiding citizen who did nothing wrong. This is why we continue to fight for progress and for equal rights. Where I once believed that our country had a chance of actually coming together it seems that the ever present invisible divide between races becomes worse by the minute.

I wait in anticipation to read the allegations and lies that will be produced in the police report. We all know Walmart has video surveillance in their parking lots! We will see what really happened…but at the end of the day will it really matter. I can not begin to account for the many videos, recordings that have been as clear as day where police officers abused their duty to protect and serve! Countless instances where yet another black individual is hauled to jail! Thank God it was jail this time because we know what the alternative is…

Crews is currently on administrative duty while an an organization hired by the city investigates. You can read the statement from the City of Commerce below:

commerce police statement

 

Update: Carmen Ponder through her attorney released a statement that she may have misidentified which police officer called her a Black a Bitch