Scuffle at Kennett Wal-Mart leads to charges of racism

ST. LOUIS (AP) - 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 Wal-Mart to join a cousin whose line was moving faster on 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.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)