Evading arrest charge dropped against Miss Black Texas for "insufficient evidence"

The criminal charge against a former Miss Black Texas was dropped Tuesday following a controversial arrest outside a Commerce Wal-Mart last month.

Hunt County Attorney Joel Littlefield filed paperwork Tuesday that cited "insufficient evidence" for the evading arrest charge stemming from the May 20 incident.

Ponder, 23, said she learned the charge was dropped early Tuesday.

“I wanted to get that off my record and get the charges dropped," Ponder said.

The Texas A&M - Commerce senior said she was going to Wal-Mart when she came across an irate motorist who followed her into the parking lot.

Ponder told WFAA the motorist called her a "black (expletive)" as she walked into the store.  When she left the store she said she was confronted by a plain clothes Commerce Police officer who ordered her to apologize to the motorist.

In her initial account she believed the motorist was Commerce Police Chief Kerry Crews.

The decision to drop the charge comes one day after the city of Commerce cleared Crews of making a racially insensitive comment towards Ponder or that the arrest was racially motivated.

Attorney Lee Merritt on Tuesday said while evidence indicated someone else shouted the racial slur at Ponder, his concern has always been on circumstances surrounding the arrest itself.

“The idea that she was arrested for not apologizing to an irate motorist has been the most offensive aspect of this case from the beginning," Merritt said.

Merritt called on Commerce officials to work with Ponder on the circumstances surrounding the arrest and to "acknowledge the issues of institutional racism within the city."

Ponder is a paralegal studies major and plans to attend law school after graduation in December.

"I did trust the law and the law did come into play and did show that I did not do anything wrong and I am happy about that," Ponder said.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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