ONTD Political

Woman Faces 15 Years for Cutting Line at Walmart, KKK Involved

2:21 pm - 10/20/2009
Posted by Boyce Watkins, PhD on Oct 12th 2009 10:55AM

Heather Ellis of Kennett, Mo., has quite a story to tell. It all started nearly three years ago in a local Wal-Mart.

Ellis was shopping in the store with a cousin, and the two temporarily parted ways to find the shortest line. Seeing that the other line was moving faster, Ellis went to get in line with her cousin.

She was accused of cutting the line by a store employee, who then notified the security guard. According to Ellis, she was shoved by another customer, had her items pushed to the side and was shortchanged when she finally checked out. The police affidavit states that Ellis was belligerent, loud, abusive and cursing when she was told to leave the store by the assistant manager.

Ellis' aunt, Lily Blackmon, received a frantic call from her son and claims that when she arrived, her daughter's head was being repeatedly banged against the police car as she told officers that she wasn't resisting arrest. Blackmon, who was a probation officer in the town for 11 years, asked the officers why her niece was getting such rough treatment.

"I said, 'What is going on?' And all [the officer] could say was, 'She cursed,'" said Blackmon.

Ellis was charged with disturbing the peace, trespassing, resisting arrest and two counts of assaulting a police officer. She was then offered a plea deal by Dunklin County Prosecutor Stephen Sokoloff. The prosecutor offered to drop the felony counts to one misdemeanor of disturbing the peace, as long as Ellis signed the plea deal. Her aunt claims that the deal was offered so their family wouldn't file a lawsuit.

Ellis refused to take the plea deal, claiming that she wasn't willing to admit to something she didn't do; however, 11 months later, the misdemeanor counts were dropped, which seemed to be good news. The good news, though, was replaced with something even more disturbing.

It turned out that the misdemeanor counts had been replaced by felonies. Ellis now faces 15 years in prison if convicted. When her aunt went to prosecutor Sokoloff to find out what happened, Sokoloff allegedly told her, "Mrs. Ellis, when you get through, I don't care what you say. You may as well take my way out. My way was the plea bargain. If you don't take that way, I can assure you, you'll never win in here."

Ellis claims that her pending convictions have cost her two jobs and the chance to enter medical school, but she still refuses to sign the plea deal. Racism recently entered in to the story when Ellis was handed KKK cards from a Kennett police officer warning her about her actions. The cards stated, "You've just been paid a social visit by the Ku Klux Klan; the next visit will not be social." The officer claims that he only showed the family the cards to make them aware of the situation. Since that time, and after a dramatic plea for support, people have come to help Heather. The site www.SaveHeatherEllis.com has emerged, and her father appeared on CNN on the 15th of October to tell her story.

Dr. Towanna Freeman, a management consultant, argues that Walmart was to blame for the unfortunate sequence of events: "No matter what angle you take on this case, it all started when Walmart failed a valued customer and it's Wal-Mart that owes Ms. Heather Ellis a written apology."

Dr. Freeman goes on to argue that Walmart should have cleared up the disturbance as soon as it occurred, rather than allowing it to get out of hand.

When it comes to the trial of Heather Ellis, the bottom line is this: This young woman's future should not be in jeopardy over this incident. If the prosecutor's office could drop significant felony counts down to one misdemeanor, then they can drop the charges altogether. This may also be a case of what I call, "You got the wrong black person syndrome," in which police treat a black suspect a certain way because they believe the person is either uneducated or without influence. Most cases of police abuse go unreported or without accountability by the police department. Once they found out that Ellis was a college student, this may have led to the surprisingly generous concessions made in the original plea deal. There appears to be a power trip in this case, in which the prosecutor (like the one in the Jena 6 case) seems to feel that he has the right to destroy this young woman's life over an argument at Wal-Mart. I don't think we should let that happen. Rev. Sharpton and I will have something interesting to talk about this week.

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pullmystrings 20th-Oct-2009 06:34 pm (UTC)
mylaptopisevil 20th-Oct-2009 06:38 pm (UTC)
In fairness this was 3 years ago before we became post racial after electing Obama so this would never happen now ever.


::keeps blinders up::
sekali 20th-Oct-2009 06:41 pm (UTC)
lol wat
vulgarcriminal 20th-Oct-2009 06:44 pm (UTC)
God, this is terrible. That poor girl.
flowerings 20th-Oct-2009 06:44 pm (UTC)
so fucked up.
chaobell 20th-Oct-2009 06:48 pm (UTC)
The officer claims that he only showed the family the cards to make them aware of the situation.


There appears to be a power trip in this case

You think?
randomneses 20th-Oct-2009 06:49 pm (UTC)
The police affidavit states that Ellis was belligerent, loud, abusive and cursing

You know, typical black woman.
bludstone 20th-Oct-2009 07:02 pm (UTC)
being belligerent, loud, and cursing does not warrant a violent arrest.

Abusive, well, I havnt seen any examples of that.
karmanotdharma 20th-Oct-2009 06:51 pm (UTC)
Umm there's actually no need to have KKK cards in the first place, much less the need to "show them to the family to make them aware of the situation." How is that any better than giving them a card?
mercystars 20th-Oct-2009 08:19 pm (UTC)
I found a KKK flyer on the windshield of my car once. Everyone's car had them. Fucking disturbing.
sunoftheskye 20th-Oct-2009 06:52 pm (UTC)
Oh God this all reminds me of this movie I just saw called American Violet?

Anyone else seen it?

Holy FUCK I hate the world.
youbeboy 20th-Oct-2009 07:33 pm (UTC)
I've seen the trailer.
stellar_kar 20th-Oct-2009 06:53 pm (UTC)
um if I'm shopping with someone I usually make them stand in another line if it's shorter....I don't see what the big deal is, I mean I usually have like 4 items max anyways. Good thing I never shop at Walmart though
wyntur_snow 20th-Oct-2009 06:53 pm (UTC)
Wal-Mart may be cheap in their prices, but they also have cheap morals. Fucking bastards. I may be poor as hell at the moment, but I never step a single foot in those hell holes if I can ever help it.

crasherwake 21st-Oct-2009 06:42 am (UTC)
Yeah, ethics and Wal-Mart don't go together. I don't know why I'm continually shocked by the things they do. They're a disgusting business all around.

I'd only shop there if it was my only choice. Unfortunately in some places that's the case. =__=
dragonhawker 20th-Oct-2009 06:55 pm (UTC)
The cards stated, "You've just been paid a social visit by the Ku Klux Klan; the next visit will not be social." The officer claims that he only showed the family the cards to make them aware of the situation.

That's uh, the worst excuse I ever heard. "I only handed her those threatening cards in order to threaten her."
flirflir 20th-Oct-2009 06:59 pm (UTC)
ik, so fucked up
scolaro 20th-Oct-2009 07:00 pm (UTC)
She was accused of cutting the line...

See, that's why I'm for capital punishment. *headdesk*
bludstone 20th-Oct-2009 07:01 pm (UTC)
Typical fucking cop, bashing someone's head in for shits and giggles.

And dont fucking tell me that walmart doesnt have all of this shit on film.

fuck this shit fucking fuckaroo fuckyou
allagainst 20th-Oct-2009 07:10 pm (UTC)
Typical fucking cop, bashing someone's head in for shits and giggles.

Oh, how unbelievably accurate this sentence is.
salienne 20th-Oct-2009 07:02 pm (UTC)
I'm honestly speechless by how disgusting and terrible this situation is.

Racism, abuses of power, and bullshit power trips, oh my!

I hope things work out for this woman.
calimazan 20th-Oct-2009 07:10 pm (UTC)

all [the officer] could say was, 'She cursed,

You have to be kidding. You... you have to. Right?
kimbari 20th-Oct-2009 08:11 pm (UTC)
It's against federal law to be a black woman and curse. Don't you know anything?
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
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