A police chief in Texas has resigned after an incident that resulted in a beauty queen's arrest in May.
Commerce, Texas, Police Chief Kerry Crews reportedly resigned during a city council meeting regarding the investigation, according to the New York Daily News. The incident involved the arrest of Miss Black Texas 2016 Carmen Ponder, 23.
The May 20 incident took place at a Walmart in Commerce, where Commerce ISD school board trustee Michael Beane was allegedly allowing his 14-year-old daughter to drive a car, according to Dallas News.
Ponder said that Beane's car had cut her off on the road, and then Beane called her a "black b****" after she told him that it was illegal for a 14-year-old to drive.
Crews approached Ponder as she was leaving the store. Some outlets reported that Ponder believed that Crews was Beane, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Ponder, 23, had been charged with evading arrest, though that charge was later dropped.
Ponder said that she had been targeted by the police because of her race. An investigation by the city, however, concluded that the arrest had not been racially motivated.
Mayor Wyman Williams read Crews' resignation at the meeting, where Crews was not present.
"I do not feel that I can continue to bear the weight of the police chief position," said Crews in the resignation. "It was my understanding that officers had been called, but I felt that it was something that I could handle. I was wrong. As a result of being off-duty I was unprepared for the response I received from Ms. Ponder, and I became emotional."
Crews will be moving to a new position, as Commerce's city manager.
"This is an exciting time to be in Commerce," said Crews. "I am excited to continue to be able to contribute to the city in this new role."
Beane has also resigned, according to The Root.
"I'm resigning ... not because I did anything wrong, but because we don't need to be held hostage," said Beane, WFAA reports. "Commerce ISD does not need this kind of media attention."
Beane denied that he directed a racially charged insult at Ponder, saying that "inaccurate reporting" had led to a "social media attack" on him.
"I want to make clear that at no point during this scenario did anyone but Miss Ponder make any racial claim," said Beane.
"Neither Beane nor Crews accept responsibility for their actions, nor the pain they caused Ms. Ponder, but they have been sure to paint themselves as victims of the Black Lives Matter movement," said Ponder's attorney, Lee Merritt. "Ms. Ponder’s experience with both of these men shows why they would allude to this."