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Jail administrator’s wife accused of pulling gun on four black kids going door-to-door for school fundraiser

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WYNNE, Ark. (WMC) – The first day of school is Wednesday for students in Wynne, Arkansas and students will likely have more to talk about than new teachers and classes. Namely, that four students were held at gunpoint selling cards for a school fundraiser last week. Now some in the community wonder if the woman charged received special treatment.

The four teenagers were going door-to-door selling discount cards for the high school football program. The Wynne School system said two of the students wore school jerseys. All four of the students involved were African-American.

The district notified parents of those involved after the incident, according to Superintendent Carl Easley.

The incident took place at a home on Morningside Drive at 10 a.m. Aug. 7.

In a media statement, Wynne Police Chief Jackie Clark said officers responded to a report of “suspicious persons” and arrived to find four juveniles lying on the ground with a woman standing over them with a gun. The officer let the children stand up and they explained they were selling cards for a school athletic program.

Bill Winkler has lived in the neighborhood for four decades and says seeing the students isn’t uncommon.

“Usually, it’s right before football season, late summer or early fall the kids were out selling these discount cards,” Winkler said Tuesday.

On Monday, Wynne police arrested 46-year old Jerri Kelly on four counts of aggravated assault, false imprisonment and endangering the welfare of a minor.

Kelly doesn’t have a mugshot because Cross County Sheriff David West told WMC Action News 5 that she had a “medical issue” while she was being booked.

Read More at WMC 5

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Amber Guyger arrives for pre-trial hearing in the murder of Botham Jean

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Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger who shot and killed a man in his own apartment arrives to court Monday morning. This hearing comes just over a month before she is scheduled to go to trial on September 23.

Days after the shooting, Guyger was arrested and charged with manslaughter, but months later, a grand jury indicted her on a charge of murder in last September’s killing of Botham Jean inside his South Side Flats apartment. 

One of the latest motions in the case expected to be discussed focuses on Guyger’s character. The defense argues that they should be able to call character witnesses who will testify about the kind of person she is and what kind of officer she was.

The prosecution said she should not have full reign to call on whoever they want, and they want more information about any potential witnesses.

Another topic that will be argued in these pre-trial hearings is whether the trial needs to move out of Dallas. The defense argues that there is no way Guyger can get a fair trial with all of the media coverage and the emotional ties to the area. A judge has said that will not be decided yet and will return to the topic once jury selection gets underway.

Botham Jean’s death sparked protests across the city. Jean, 25, was a young professional in Dallas. He moved from St. Lucia and was a choir leader in his church. His family traveled to the U.S. multiple times, demanding justice. 

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High school principal who established a dress code for PARENTS defends her decision, saying she was fed up with moms in see-through shirts on campus

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The Texas high school principal criticized for creating a controversial dress code for parents is refusing to back down from her decision to institute the adult wardrobe rules.  

James Madison High School principal Carlotta Outley Brown made headlines in early April after a parent publicly complained that she had been refused access to the Houston, Texas, school’s campus while attempting to enroll her daughter simply because she was wearing a t-shirt dress and a head scarf. 

The complaint prompted Brown to formalize a dress code for parents, which banned adornments including hair bonnets, shower caps and hair rollers, as well as prohibiting clothing such as low-cut tops, leggings, excessively torn jeans, sagging pants and Daisy Dukes. Critics claimed the dress code was classist and insulting. 

‘I felt the need to enact the dress code because it was an educational environment, a place of learning,’ Brown told Inside Edition in an interview that aired Friday. ‘When anyone walks in, we have impressionable children and we have to model what we want them to know and learn.’

Brown said that the woman who complained was turned away from the school because she was wearing a ‘nightshirt’ and that it evident ‘that she did not have anything on under her garment.’

Prior to this woman, however, Brown said that she had been seeing an increasing number of parents arriving at the school wearing eyebrow-raising attire.  

One mom, Brown said, ‘came in with a see-through shirt and you could clearly see her breasts and her nipples.’ Meanwhile, another mom had her thong underwear visible above her pants.   

Brown said the parental dress code rules, which were sent out to school parents in a letter, were necessary because ‘Parents are their children’s first teacher’ and that formalizing the rules would ‘ensure that they know how to conduct themselves.’

She said that these rules were not meant to ‘prohibit them from their expression’ and that they only applied to parents looking to get inside the school. Parents were free to wear whatever they wanted in the carpool lane when dropping off or collecting their kids. 

Among the more vocal critics of Brown’s dress code rules was Zeph Capo, president of the Houston Federation of Teachers.  

‘Who are you to judge others who may not have the same opportunities that you do? Having a wrap on your head is not offensive. It should not be controversial,’ Capo told the Houston Chronicle, while also noting that Brown’s bans regarding school moms’ hair was ‘classist,’ ‘belittling’ and ‘dismissive.’

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Deputy slamming down Lincoln Park Academy student causing concern among parents

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FORT PIERCE, Fla. – A viral video that is making the rounds on social media is drawing concern among parents.

The video shows a Saint Lucie County Sheriff’s deputy taking down a sixth grader outside Lincoln Park Academy in Fort Pierce.

“That’s kind of rough to be at a school campus, he didn’t have to slam him down like that,” said General Platt, as he watched the video while picking up his twins on Wednesday.

“I would have freaked out if I saw that in person,” said Jazmine Arias, as she was waiting to pick up her sister. “He’s a kid, I don’t think a little kid should be thrown to the ground like that.”

The 15 second video shows a the school resource deputy run after a 6th grader outside the school Tuesday afternoon and slam him on the grass. Another video then shows the student in handcuffs walking away.

“If the kid was fighting him back and he felt like he was in some kind of danger, then I could justify his actions, but it didn’t appear to be that way,” Platt said.

At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Sheriff Ken Mascara said the deputy did not use excessive force, and the video does not show what happened in the minutes beforehand.

“Our school resource deputy is very familiar with this student and knows he has a violent history, including possessing weapons,” Mascara said.

The Sheriff says the student was recently caught with a knife, and he has to be escorted around campus by a staff member because he’s been physically aggressive to staff and students.

Mascara says the 11-year-old was aggressive during dismissal on Tuesday, and when staff tried to stop him he ran away. That’s when the resource deputy took him to the ground.

“At the end of the day the deputy did everything he could to diffuse the situation, and his use of force fell within the legal and our agency guidelines,” Mascara said.

The deputy has been a school resource officer for eight years, three of which have been at Lincoln Park Academy. Mascara said the deputy has never had a complaint of excessive force.

The student is now facing a number of charges. He was taken to the hospital briefly and left with a band-aid. His grandfather tells WPTV, he is now undergoing a mental health evaluation in Lake Worth Beach.

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