A white woman held four Black teens on the ground at gunpoint while they were trying to raise money for their high school football team.
Four Black teens were going door-to-door asking people in their community to help them raise money for their high school football team in Wynne, Arkansas when they came across the home of #JerriKelly. Kelly ended up pulling a gun out on boys, forcing them to ground until police arrived. Police arrived at Kelly’s house on Wednesday, August 7 at around 10 a.m., after receiving a report of “suspicious persons.” When officers arrived, the boys told police they were merely selling discount cards to raise money for their school’s athletic program. Two of the four teens were wearing their football jerseys, according to the police report. One of the officers that reported to the incident recognized one of the teens as the kids’ high school Resource Officer.
Kelly, 46, claimed she heard her dog barking and the boys walking through the neighborhood. Kelly claims that her prior experience with a home invasion made her think the boys were potentially about to rob her. The woman gestured towards the boys’ skin and then her own, saying “it ain’t about that,” according to a police report. “If you’re gonna sell cards, act like you’re selling cards,” she reportedly told the police. “Be smart about it boys. Please. It’s your life you’re talking about. Don’t be silly about it.” Later, she said she “felt remorse” and asked to get in contact with the boys to buy them lunch and “put some closure on this.”
A warrant was put out for the woman’s arrest, but she turned herself in Monday evening. Kelly was arrested and charged with four accounts of aggravated assault, false imprisonment and endangering the welfare of a minor, Wynne County police told CBS News Friday. The aggressor was released that night on a $10,000 bond. Kelly did not have her picture taken at the station initially, claiming she was suffering from a “medical emergency.” A mugshot was taken after Kelly’s initial court appearance Thursday morning, in part because of community backlash claiming she received special treatment.
“She was afforded the same booking process and procedures as anyone that’s brought into our facility,” Cross County Sheriff’s Department Captain Jeff Nichols said. “She received no preferential treatment.” Other community members said they didn’t notice anything suspicious that morning. The boys said they were “scared to even talk” to Kelly after she called them liars and threatened to shoot them if they moved from the ground. The teens say the woman lectured them after police arrived and insisted they look her in the eyes and shake her hand, according to CBS News.