Pubdate: Sat, 29 Jan 2005
Source: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (TX)
Copyright: 2005 The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
Author: Harvey Madison


We of the ACLU of Lubbock and Texas wish to acknowledge all the kind
words from those who have contacted us regarding the successful
conviction of Tom Coleman, the discredited undercover agent in the
Tulia drug debacle. It was the ACLU that started the long and tortuous
legal and public process of reversing the tragic injustices committed
by Coleman and others.

It is those others, however, that we remain concerned about. While we
urged the indictment of others involved in the Tulia sweep, none has
been charged by investigators for anything in the Tulia drug operation.

It seems we have made a grand show of reeling in the minnow, and let
the big fish get away. It appalls me, when the practice is to use the
small-timers to get at the higher-ups, that no apparent interest was
shown, and the statute of limitations finally ran out.

In the trenches of civil liberties these days, we celebrate victories,
though they be small and symbolic. Coleman's conviction was one of
those. Hopefully, the public will see this as evidence that the Tulia
style of drug enforcement was wrong, that sometimes cops are corrupt,
and that the Texas drug task forces system was inept and misguided.


President, ACLU of Lubbock

Via e-mail
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