October 29, 2009

Black Woman Faces 15 Years in Prison for Cutting Line at Walmart; KKK Threatens Her Family

Soulclap to Dr. Boyce Watkins for bringing us the story of Heather Ellis, a young college student out of Kennett, MO. This woman is now facing 15 years in prison if she is sentenced after being accused of cutting line at a local Walmart.

Heather was in a Walmart store 3 years ago with her cousin. The two split up to find the shortest line. Since her cousin was in the shorter line, Heather joined him. That’s when the clerk accused Heather of cutting in front of the other customers. An argument ensued, leading to the manager and security guard being called, and finally the police.

The incident left Ellis, an honor student on her way to medical school, charged with disturbing the peace, trespassing and two counts of assaulting a police officer. After Heather refused to sign a plea agreement, Stephen Sokoloff, the town’s prosecutor, filed felony charges against Heather.

Read the full story here.

I wonder if this case will be settled prior to the November 15th trial date?


blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hi Villager,

Please tell me why some bloggers will "sensationalize" news stories in order to elevate the drama?

This woman is not facing 15 years in prison for cutting in line at Walmart.

She was not arrested for cutting in line.

She was arrested for the behavior she exhibited AFTER being accused of cutting in line.

Granted, 15 years for showing out in a store is a ridiculous outcome but she WAS NOT arrested for cutting in line and the police were not called because she was cutting in line.

Now...with that said...

If you are in a store and you have items to buy and you are with someone ELSE and they have items to buy...stepping into a line with the person who was shopping with you when you are both paying separately for your own items IS cutting.

But I realize that is a minor point the story...

May I also mention that even if she WERE being falsely accused of cutting, she could have left her items right there in the lane and left the store. Did she choose that option? No.

I am sure that she wishes now that she had...

This is an unfortunate story but it is also a lesson for folks who think that they can lose complete control over themselves over stupid situations.

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!

Renee said...


Wow I can smell the conservatism from here. How about you start with not victim blaming and recognize the the role that both race and gender had to do with this travesty. In no way did The villager sensationalize this story. What happened was terrible period.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hi Renee,

No victim blaming here...

The fact of the matter is that the person involved was an ADULT and when adults get upset ...regardless if someone else is acting like a moron, that adult still has an option to leave the situation.

Pointing out the alternatives of the situation is not victim blaming...but you're more than welcome to say it is!

I guess it depends on the lens that you are looking through...

Yes, I do feel that the title of the post (that other bloggers are using as well) provides false information since the charges against the woman are not that she cut in line.

You're entitled to say that "cutting in line" was the criminal charge against her... if it makes the post more explosive but that tidbit is false.

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!

Anonymous said...

You have got to be...this is for real?

Villager said...

Lisa - I'm not sure why you feel that this story has been sensationalized. The sista is facing 15 years in jail based on the charges brought against her by the district attorney. The KKK card was given to her family. The facts on their face are an outrage. No need to sensationalize.

This is a case of poor customer service by the Walmart folks resulting in an escalation of anger resulting in police action.

Unfortunate for both sides of the issue.

I do admit that the blog title is an attention-grabber ... but, that is the nature of headlines in a competitive environment.

Keith - It's all fact. As bad as things are getting in Detroit ... they ain't this bad!

Monica Roberts said...

The bottom line peeps, is that someone facing felony charges and 15 years in jail for a negative customer service situation that should have been handled in the store is something we need to be pissed and making a stink about. and

Mitch said...

First, y'all need to go to her blog to read what she wrote on the story; wow, powerful stuff.

Second, the headline is a little wild, but I'm not mad at the Villager for the headline; that's what a good blogger does, just as newspapers would do.

Third, homegirl could have chilled, but she didn't. The problem with some young folks today is that they believe they have a sense of entitlement to things. Think about it; would any of us have done that even 30 years ago if we weren't in our own surroundings, or heck, at some point even in our own surroundings?

Fourth, 15 years is ridiculous, as I did read that in a story in a St. Louis newspaper. This part, being true, is definitely racism at its worst. But once again, there's debate over what the tape shows; black people don't tend to win these all that often, even when the evidence may clearly favor them.

This one is ugly, for sure.

Villager said...

Monica - I hope that this matter gets resolved without needing to continue thru criminal justice system. Everyone involved needs to take a chill pill ... step back ... and come to a mutually agreeable resolution.

MitchAll four of your points are well taken ... especially the one about blogger-privilege for attention-grabbing headlines! :)