Pubdate: Fri, 29 Oct 2004
Source: Amarillo Globe-News (TX)
Copyright: 2004 Amarillo Globe-News
(Tulia, Texas)


APD'S Mike Amos Gets Unfair Share

Lt. Mike Amos retires today from the Amarillo Police Department.

Hopefully, his association with the infamous 1999 Tulia drug sting will be 
retired as well.

Amos, the former head of the defunct Panhandle Regional Narcotics 
Trafficking Task Force, took much of the heat for the Tulia fiasco, most of 
it unwarranted.

The majority of the blame for what happened in Tulia rests squarely on the 
shoulders of Tom Coleman, the discredited former undercover officer whose 
questionable actions resulted in the arrests of 46 people, most of them 
pardoned. Coleman faces legal troubles of his own, having been indicted on 
three counts of perjury.

Before Amos is branded with the Tulia mark, there are other factors to 

Amos was head of the PRNTTF, but his culpability in how Coleman carried out 
his investigation was limited.

Is it necessarily Amos' fault that the Texas justice system bought the word 
of one person, who fingered 46 people on unfounded charges without any 
corroborating evidence such as a videotape or audiotape?

And as far as the justice system, 11 of the Tulia defendants were found 
guilty in a court of law and 17 accepted plea agreements.

The evidence - or lack thereof - against the defendants is the issue, and 
Amos was not a party in determining guilt or innocence.

And what of the elected officials in Tulia, who arguably should have had 
more knowledge of what Coleman was up to rather than a police officer in 

Many share the blame for this travesty of justice. Lt. Mike Amos is way 
down on the list.
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