UPDATED 11-20-09: WALMART CUSTOMER, HEATHER ELLIS, COULD FACE 15 YEARS IN PRISON FOR “CHECKOUT LINE RAGE”, CLAIMING IT WAS “RACISM”…

Posted on November 19, 2009. Filed under: News And Politics... |

 

UPDATED:  Friday, November 20, 2009 9:20 PM (My original post follows my update)

 
Granted, there are many incidents where racism exists, but this wasn’t one of them.  Racism exists for all races, not just blacks, but in this case, this black woman used it to her advantage, even though she was in the wrong.
 
White people were understandably ticked off when this black woman broke into line and pushed a white woman’s purchases aside and jumped in front of her.  I would have pushed her aside!  Why is it that blacks can support other blacks, but white people can’t support other whites?  No wonder there is racism in this world, and it’s mostly from black people.  They have this great sense of entitlement that everyone has to bow down to them, that the world owes them something.  They don’t want equality; they want superiority.  I feel that if this black woman didn’t act like an animal, people wouldn’t have talked to her the way that they did.  Even if a white person did this, other white people would have gotten in their face as well.  It had nothing to do with race, but with the circumstances involved.  Anyway, she just received a slap on the wrist even though she started this whole mess, incurring injuries to police officers who arrived on the scene.  If she were charged with these crimes, she would have received up to 15 years in prison.  Had this been a white person, that’s probably what they would have received.  That’s a primary reason why there is so much tension between races today—we don’t get treated equally.  Blacks clearly have the race card advantage, and this sentence proves it.  She used the race card, and received a slap on the wrist.  Jesse Jackass must be proud…
 
QueenBee
 
 
 

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A black teacher faces up to 15 years in prison for creating a scene at a checkout line, and later with police.  I believe the days of blacks crying racism at every turn may be diminishing.  It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out…
 
QueenBee
 
 

Arrest at Walmart triggers charges of racism

Incident with white customers and workers could land black teacher in jail
The Associated Press
updated 9:09 a.m. ET, Mon., Nov . 16, 2009

 
 
 
 
Heather Ellis, walking arm-in-arm with her mother, Hester Ellis, could get up to 15 years in prison after an incident at Walmart.

 
 

ST. LOUIS – Nearly three years after Heather Ellis switched checkout lines at a southeast Missouri store and touched off what she calls a racially charged dispute with white customers and authorities, the young black schoolteacher faces a trial that could send her to prison for 15 years.

Witnesses have told authorities that Ellis cut in front of waiting customers at the Walmart in Kennett on Jan. 6, 2007, shoved merchandise already placed on a conveyor belt out of the way, and became belligerent when confronted, according to court filings.

Ellis maintains she was merely joining her cousin, whose checkout line was moving more quickly. She claimed in a written complaint to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People that she was then pushed by a white customer, hassled by store employees, called racial slurs and physically mistreated by Kennett police officers.

Police say in court documents that Ellis refused requests to calm down and leave the property, allegedly kicking one’s shin and splitting another’s lip. Her trial on charges of assaulting police officers, resisting arrest and disturbing the peace begins Wednesday in Dunklin County Circuit Court.

A few hundred people attended a rally Monday held on Ellis’ behalf by Syracuse, N.Y.-based Your Black World Coalition, according to a rally organizer, Boyce Watkins. Opponents also showed up, but the march remained peaceful, Watkins said.

A college student in New Orleans at the time of her arrest, the 24-year-old Ellis now teaches in Louisiana, where she is engaged to a state trooper. She has said she feels trapped by "small-town politics" in Kennett, where her family lives.

"What a shame the system can destroy a young person’s future like this because of bad cops," Ellis wrote to the NAACP in April.

The group subsequently held a rally in Kennett. Before the June 13 event began, police officers found threatening letters the size of business cards scattered along the route that said the Ku Klux Klan had paid a visit and "the next visit will not be social."

Dunklin County Prosecutor Stephen Sokoloff said the cards were removed and the source investigated but never discovered. He said he doubts the cards actually were from the KKK; he knows of no KKK presence in the area. A call to the KKK headquarters was not answered.

Dispute over claims
As for Ellis’ allegations of mistreatment by law enforcement, Sokoloff said he’s "seen absolutely no evidence of any kind, apart from her statements, that those things occurred." Kennett Police Chief Barry Tate did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Kennett is a town of roughly 11,000 residents, about 1,500 of them black. The police department also is predominantly white, but has actively worked to recruit more women and minorities, said longtime resident Charles B. Brown, who served as mayor from 1991 to 2003.

"We’re a small country town with greater problems than racism. Our problems are economic," he said, explaining that Kennett needs more jobs.

Some community leaders fear the "big paint roller" being used by observers of Ellis’ case has resulted in unfair portrayals of the town as prejudiced.

"They’re searching their hearts and minds, and that’s just not us," he said.

Sokoloff said he would have filed the same charges regardless of the races of those involved. Last week, he took himself off the case, telling the Southeast Missourian newspaper he hoped it would refocus attention on the facts. A special prosecutor from Cape Girardeau County was appointed.

Ellis and her lawyers, Scott Rosenblum and T.J. Hunsaker in St. Louis, declined to comment on the specifics of the case. She has previously rejected plea deals.

"Why would you plea bargain if you’re innocent?" said Ellis’ father, the Rev. Nathaniel Ellis of Kennett.

"This is not a matter of justice," he said. "It’s a vendetta."

Allegations, counter-allegations
Ellis’ written account to the NAACP describes she and her cousin getting into separate checkout lanes before Ellis switched into the faster-moving line. The woman behind them had placed items on the conveyor belt, and Ellis alleged the woman pushed her when she tried to put her own items down.

Witnesses instead told police that Ellis shoved the woman’s merchandise back, according to court filings.

Ellis wrote that a security officer and manager were called over and that although Ellis said she wanted to pay, the manager yelled at her to leave the store. Police were called and arrived.

Officers eventually followed her to the parking lot, she said, using racial slurs and telling her to go back to the ghetto. As her aunt and uncle drove into the parking lot, Ellis said, the officers "jumped" on her even though she said she was not resisting.

Officer A.W. Fisher wrote in a probable cause statement that Ellis was given "every opportunity" to comply with officers and leave the property. He said she used an expletive in telling him she would beat him if he put his hands on her.

Fisher said he then told Ellis she was under arrest, but she would not stop fighting while being handcuffed.

Following her arrest, Ellis alleged, she was thrown against doors on the way into jail and an officer later twisted her shirt with his knuckle to choke her while she was in custody.

"Incidents involving our customers are unfortunate and we take them seriously," Wal-Mart Stores Inc. spokesman Lorenzo Lopez said in a statement earlier this month. "In this matter, there was a disturbance and law enforcement was contacted, in accordance with our normal procedures. The police then determined how to proceed."

 
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