Four Black teenagers were going door-to-door in Wynne, Ark., on August 7 to fundraise for their football team. But it all went horribly awry when they got to the door of Arkansas white woman Jerry Kelly, a white woman who proceeded to yell, curse, and force them to the ground at gunpoint.
The boys were only 15 and 16 years old. They were selling discount cards for their annual high school football team fundraiser. Before they could even knock on Kelly’s door, she came out with a chrome-plated revolver, according to The Washington Post.
Kelly forced them to lie down, spread their legs and place their arms behind their backs. When they tried to explain what they were doing, she accused them of trying to rob her and other people.
When one boy tried to swat at a mosquito, Kelly threatened that if he didn’t stop moving she would shoot, The Post reported.
Kelly has been charged with four counts each of aggravated assault and false imprisonment, both felonies, and four counts of endangering the welfare of a minor, which is a misdemeanor.
The Arkansas white woman used to be a police officer and her husband is a Cross County Jail administrator.
Kaiser Permanente (DiversityInc Top 50 2019 Hall of Fame) has done exhaustive research on of the effect of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and its implications for the people who struggle with it. According to Kaiser, “all people with PTSD have personally experienced—or have experienced through others—a traumatic event that caused them to fear for their lives, see horrible things, and feel helpless. Strong emotions caused by the event create changes in the brain that may result in PTSD.”
Kaiser and other organizations that racism, like what the four teenagers faced at the hands of Kelly, creates an environment of toxic stress and can lead to the development of complex PTSD.
“We was scared,” one of the teens traumatized by Kelly told police. “I thought she was going to shoot me in the head, how she was acting.”