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Black Teens Held at Gunpoint by White Woman, Police Say

Youths were going door to door to raise money for football team
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2019 3:50 PM CDT
A booking photo shows Jerri Kelly, who has been arrested after officials say she pulled a gun on four black teenagers fundraising door-to-door for their high school football team.   (Cross County Sheriff's Office via AP)

(Newser) – Four black teenagers going door to door in an Arkansas town to raise money for their high school football team were held at gunpoint by a white woman until police arrived, officials say. Jerri Kelly, whose husband is the county's jail administrator, has been charged with four counts of aggravated assault, four counts of false imprisonment, and four counts of endangering the welfare of a minor, ABC reports. After receiving a "suspicious persons" call, police arrived to find the four teenagers lying on the ground with Kelly standing over them. The four then were allowed to stand up and told police they were selling discount cards in the neighborhood for a fund that covers meals before and after the team's games. The four are 15 and 16 years old.

Kelly had approached the teenagers as they neared her house, a court filing says, after she'd seen them at a neighbor's door. The school district now is considering changing its policy to prohibit students from going door to door to raise money, per the Arkansas Times, which reports that it was Kelly's husband, Joseph, who called police. Since the encounter, the school district says it has received messages of support for the students from around the world, as well as offers to donate to the team. (A white woman called police on a black man in a dog park.)

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