Rally Planned for Black Woman Facing 15 Years in Prison for Cutting Line at Walmart

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A Black college student faces 15 years in prison for cutting line at Walmart. Dr. Boyce Watkins and other African American leaders have set up a national movement and rally in her defense.

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I have spoken with the family and other residents of the Kennett community, and the truth is that there does not appear to be justice for African Americans in this town

Heather Ellis, a college student out of Kennett, MO is now facing 15 years in prison if she is sentenced after being accused of cutting line at a local Walmart. Her case has gotten the attention of the nation, and has been the subject of extensive online protests. Please see Missouri case number 08DU-CR00039-01, Dunklin County District Court for more details.

The case opens up a can of racial worms for a small town that is known for having the strictest legal system in the state of Missouri. Ellis, a college student and minister's daughter with no criminal record, has been traveling the country to get support for her case. The work paid off when her family's story was featured on CNN recently. To learn more about the case, visit TheHeatherEllisCase.com. Thousands around the nation have rallied to support Ellis, including many leaders, scholars and activists. Ellis goes on trial on November 18th and faces up to 15-years in prison if convicted.

Dr. Boyce Watkins, a prominent black professor at Syracuse University, has stepped in to become involved in Heather's case. Watkins, along with the Your Black World Coalition and National Action Network run by The Rev. Al Sharpton, have created a website, SaveHeatherEllis.com, and have generated thousands of signatures in support of her case. He is planning to send the signatures to US Attorney General, Eric Holder, requesting his intervention.

"I have spoken with the family and other residents of the Kennett community, and the truth is that there does not appear to be justice for African Americans in this town," says Dr. Watkins, who appears weekly on the Al Sharpton Radio show. "This requires that the prosecutor be made to realize that his power is not omnipotent and that he cannot destroy lives at his own discretion."

Dr. Watkins is planning to hold a rally in Kennett at the Walmart where the incident took place on November 16, at 11 am. For more information, you can visit SaveHeatherEllis.com or you can join the Your Black World Coalition by visiting YourBlackWorld.com. To find out details about the Heather Ellis case, please visit http://www.TheHeatherEllisCase.com.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a professor at Syracuse University and Resident Scholar for AOL Black Voices, the largest Black News website in the country. He is also the founder of the Your Black World Coalition. For interviews with Dr. Watkins or a family member of Heather Ellis, please call (888) 315-1591.

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DEWHITE WATKINS

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