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Arkansas Woman Held Black Teens At Gunpoint After They Came To Her Door For Football Fundraiser

An Arkansas woman felt threatened when a group of Wynne High School students raising money for an athletic program approached her residence on Morningside Drive.

Her knee jerk response to seeing the Black students was to take the law into her own hands and pull a gun on them.


Jerri Kelly, a 46-year-old married to Cross County Jail Administrator Joe Kelly, immediately called 911 and armed herself after seeing the teenagers on her driveway.

According to news station WREG, instead of asking them to leave she asked the four boys—two of whom were wearing school jerseys—to get on the ground and keep their legs spread with their hands behind their backs before they had a chance to explain their visit.

Wynne Police Chief Jackie Clark said in a media statement that officers responded to a call involving "suspicious persons."

When they arrived at the location, they saw Kelly standing over the boys with the gun pointed down at them.

After investigating the scene, the police took the boys home.

On Monday, Kelly was arrested and charged with four counts of aggravated assault, false imprisonment and endangering the welfare of a minor.




The grandmother of one of the traumatized boys, who wished to remain anonymous, was shocked.

"My grandson said, 'Grandma, if she'd had shot me, I had made my peace with God."



Superintendent Carl Easley of Wynne Public Schools notified the parents of those involved and released a statement saying that the football team raises money annually by selling restaurant coupons.

Easley additionally mentioned the school may dispense with the fundraising method of going door to door because of the incident.

"We intend to review all methods of fundraising used by school groups in grades K-12 to insure the safety of our children."

The New York Post cited WMC's report that the Cross County Sheriff David West didn't take a mugshot of Kelly because of an alleged "medical issue" at the time of her booking.


West insists Kelly was not given preferential treatment as the wife of the jail administrator.

Said West:

"I'm professional. My department is professional. There was no special treatment. She went through the steps just like any other person would."

Bill Winkler lived in the neighborhood for four decades and said there was nothing unusual about spotting the boys going door to door during this time of year.

"Usually, it's right before football season, late summer or early fall the kids were out selling these discount cards."

WREG wanted to understand Kelly's motivation to act violently, but when their reporter visited her residence, neighbors informed him she moved out days ago.

Kelly was released after posting $10,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on August 15, according to officials.

Here's a tip:

If you are suspicious about solicitors, just don't open the door.

The book Articulate While Black: Barack Obama, Language, and Race in the U.S. is available here.

"Using their analysis of Barack Obama as a point of departure, Alim and Smitherman reveal how major debates about language, race, and educational inequality erupt into moments of racial crisis in America."