Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rallies Planned for Heather Ellis in Kennett, Missouri

Kennett, MO. (PRWEB) October 28, 2009 -- 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.

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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.

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, 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.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

National Protest Planned in Support of Black Student Facing 15 Years for Cutting Line at Walmart: Dr Boyce Watkins speaks w Al Sharpton

For immediate Release

Please call S. Prewitt at (888) 315- 1591 for interviews or email

Dr. Boyce Watkins to Rally for College Student Facing 15 Years in Prison for Cutting Line at Walmart

(Syracuse, NY) – Prominent Syracuse University Professor Dr. Boyce Watkins has called for a national response to the case of Heather Ellis, a college student facing 15-years in prison for allegedly cutting line at a Walmart store in Kennett, MO.  Dr. Watkins will be holding a rally in Kennett, along with a march to start at the Walmart where the incident took place.  The rally and march are going to take place on November 16, 2009 at 11 am.  Dr. Watkins is encouraging those who cannot make the trip to write letters to Walmart and US Attorney General Eric Holder, as well as consider holding rallies at their own local Walmart stores.

The Heather Ellis case has gained national attention due to the fact that Ellis has no criminal record and her family has received threats from the Ku Klux Klan.  Ellis’ family felt that it would be difficult for Heather to get adequate legal representation, since many of the town’s law professionals work together.  That is when Dr. Watkins offered his support, along with local chapters of the ACLU, NAACP, National Action Network, The Sean Bell Coalition and the SCLC.

“Heather’s case is both shocking and compelling, because she could be the daughter of anyone in America,” says Watkins, who is the Resident Scholar for AOL Black Voices. “One can’t imagine that in 2009, a young lady with no criminal past can have her entire future taken away over one incident at Walmart.”

Watkins is advising those attending the rally to be careful, since the town may not be a safe place for African Americans to visit.  Walter Currie Jr., a 15-year old in nearby Poplar Bluff, MO, was doused with gasoline and set on fire by a classmate just a few months ago.

“I am actually a little concerned about the safety of those who attend the rally,” says Watkins, who is a weekly contributor to the Al Sharpton Radio Show.  “We can’t assume that because we are protesting, we are somehow safe from the Draconian justice system this town imposes on the Black community.  The truth is that we are all in jeopardy.”

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University, and founder of The Your Black World Coalition.  To find out more about the Heather Ellis Case, please visit or  For interviews, please reach out to S. Prewitt at (888) 315-1591 or email ###

Monday, October 19, 2009

Black Woman Faces 15 Years in Prison for Cutting Line at Walmart: KKK Threatens Her Family

For Immediate Release

Please call (901) 413-0203 or email for interviews

Kennett, MO. – Heather Ellis, a young 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.

Heather was in a Walmart store 3 years ago with her cousin. The two split up to find the shortest line. Since her cousin was in the shorter line, Heather joined him. That’s when the clerk accused Heather of cutting in front of the other customers. An argument ensued, leading to the manager and security guard being called, and finally the police.

The incident left Ellis, an honor student on her way to medical school, charged with disturbing the peace, trespassing and two counts of assaulting a police officer. After Heather refused to sign a plea agreement, Stephen Sokoloff, the town’s prosecutor, filed felony charges against Heather.

Ellis goes on trial on November 15th and faces 15 years in prison. The community has expressed its outrage with rallies and protests, which have led to threats from the Ku Klux Klan. A police officer delivered a card to the family from the Klan and Heather’s father believes that the officer’s delivery of the card was part of a broader plot to intimidate the family. He also argues that Walmart should release the surveillance tape to show that his daughter is innocent.

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, have created a website, “,” and have generated thousands of signatures in support of her case. He has also called for the prosecutor in the case, Stephen Sokoloff, to be investigated by the Justice Department.

“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.”

Watkins is planning to participate in a rally to be held in Kennett at the courthouse near the date of the November 18th trial. The date and location for the rally have not been set, as the family has received resistance when attempting to get permits to hold rallies. For more information, you can visit or you can join the Your Black World Coalition by visiting

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a professor at Syracuse University and Resident Scholar for AOL Black Voices. 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 (901) 413-0203 or email ###

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Physician Says that Swine Flu Vaccine Not for Everyone

Please call (901) 413-0203 for interviews

Prominent Physician Warns Americans to Be Cautious about Taking the Swine Flu Vaccine

Atlanta, GA – A prominent physician in Atlanta, Ga has issued a stern warning to the American people about being too quick to take the Swine flu vaccine. Dr. Elaina George, an Otolaryngologist out of Atlanta, has stated that there are questions patients should ask their doctors before taking the vaccine. Dr. George is not stating that Americans should not take the vaccine. But rather, she argues that the Swine flu is not as deadly as purported in the media and that the vaccine may not be suitable for all Americans.

Dr. George, who graduated from Princeton with First Lady Michelle Obama, argues that before taking the vaccine, you should ask the following questions:

1. Does the Vaccine contain additives such as mercury or squaline?

Additives called adjuvants like mercury (thiamerisol) are added to inhibit bacterial contamination. However, some studies have implicated mercury as a cause of autism and squaline as a cause of neurological damage respectively.

2. How can I avoid getting a vaccine that contains mercury?

Ask to receive your vaccine from a single dose vial. Unlike the multiple dose vials which contain thiamerisol, the single dose vials do not contain that additive.

3. Will getting the vaccine completely protect me from getting the swine flu?

The vaccine comes in two forms - a nasal form and an injectable form. The nasal form contains live virus that has been altered (attenuated) to be less infectious. The injectable form is made from a killed form of the virus. Because there is an increased risk of actual infection, the live (attenuated) virus should not be given to individuals with compromised immune systems such as pregnant women, HIV patients, those on chemotherapy or children.

4. Is the swine flu more dangerous than the seasonal flu?

Since the outbreak of the flu this past spring, over 74 countries have documented cases of the H1N1 virus. There have been approximately 345,000 cases world wide with 4,100 deaths. Conversely, there are approximately 40,000 deaths due to the seasonal flu each year in the US. Statistics continue to suggest that the H1N1 virus is not as deadly as has been purported. To date it has been a relatively mild and self-limited infection in both adults ans children.

5. What are the risks and benefits of taking the vaccine?

The mortality rate is largely associated with pneumonia caused by secondary bacterial infections. In fact secondary bacterial pneumonia was the main cause of death in the influenza pandemic of 1918. It is important to weigh the risks associated with the potential side effects of the vaccine vs the vaccine's inability to protect from the more deadly complication of bacterial pneumonia.

Dr Elaina George is Board certified Otolaryngologist who started Peachtree ENT Center. She received her Masters degree in Medical Microbiology at Long Island University, and received her medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. She is also a medical contributor for Your Black World.

For interviews, please call (901) 413-0203 or email