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.
An Arkansas woman held four Black teens at gunpoint while they raised money for their school's football team… https://t.co/Uvhg0izsWq— Blavity News (@Blavity News)1565814602.0
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.
More racist behavior in #Arkansas this time in Wynne, AR a woman held 4 black students at gunpoint because they wer… https://t.co/6L9znKmKWm— Big Bro Luh Ya ❤ (@Big Bro Luh Ya ❤)1565805486.0
@nypost Sounds about white— Gonzy (@Gonzy)1565807105.0
Jerri Kelly: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know https://t.co/7mprqs8TFb https://t.co/PkRRjyCsks— Tijani damilare (@Tijani damilare)1565818957.0
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."
@LibsInAmerica These people make me so sick. I don’t even want to be white anymore.— Mary Lankford (@Mary Lankford)1565815161.0
@IndivisibleNet Absolutely sickening— pissed off progressive (@pissed off progressive)1565819126.0
@nypost @TinaMarie_80s She's lucky I'm not one of these kids' mommas. I have HAD it with white privilege racism, h… https://t.co/qq53Qc526n— Pam Kling Jones 🆘 (@Pam Kling Jones 🆘)1565807948.0
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."
@Blavity Where is #JerriKelly's mugshot? We ALL know that if the roles were reversed these boys faces would be all… https://t.co/EzGWKTnDVl— GESSopines (@GESSopines)1565816048.0
@zoealexandra22 @Iymsumtinelse she got a bonded out and medical attention but no mugshot.... PRIVILEGE— Big Bro Luh Ya ❤ (@Big Bro Luh Ya ❤)1565817326.0
West insists Kelly was not given preferential treatment as the wife of the jail administrator.
"I'm professional. My department is professional. There was no special treatment. She went through the steps just like any other person would."
@LibsInAmerica Yeah Sheriff David West, sure she did. I'm sure that she like any other Incoming Arrested Person, wh… https://t.co/LPfu5CN1h0— Ronnie Price (@Ronnie Price)1565801096.0
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.
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