Rally set to support defendant in racially charged Bootheel case

Friday, November 6, 2009

KENNETT, Mo. -- A rally Nov. 16 in Kennett is in support of a woman accused in a racially charged case with assaulting two police officers, resisting arrest and disturbing the peace.

The now-24-year-old Heather Ellis has said she moved into a check-out lane at Walmart to join a cousin whose line was moving faster Jan. 6, 2007. Other customers said she cut ahead of them.

Kennett police said they arrested Ellis after she wouldn't calm down or obey requests to leave the property. They have said in court filings that she kicked one officer and struck another trying to arrest her.

Ellis, who is black, claims she was pushed by a white customer then called racial slurs by officers who physically mistreated her.

Her trial is scheduled later this month in Dunklin County.

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