Tulia, Texas
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161 US TX: Program To Spotlight Tulia's WoesWed, 29 Oct 2003
Source:Amarillo Globe-News (TX) Author:Raynor, Jessica Area:Texas Lines:49 Added:10/29/2003

TULIA - The town of Tulia finds itself in the national spotlight again with a Court TV program Thursday focusing on the discredited 1999 Tulia drug sting.

"Railroaded in Texas," a one-hour documentary produced by New York City-based Gordon Platt, examines the high-profile drug bust of 46 Tulia residents, 39 of whom were black, and the subsequent convictions of 38 based on one undercover agent's now-discredited testimony.

"I think we really went in with the idea of telling a story of what happened," Platt said. "It's not an investigative show. The investigation was done by the attorneys and investigators before I even showed up. It was just getting people to tell their stories and give some perspective on what happened."

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162 US TX: OPED: Who Should Pay For Injustice In Tulia?Sun, 26 Oct 2003
Source:Amarillo Globe-News (TX) Author:Finegold, Allen Area:Texas Lines:111 Added:10/28/2003

Coleman Not Solely Culpable

The central argument of your Oct. 2 editorial, "Drawing the line for Tulia justice," was stated as follows:

"So far only one person faces legal charges related to the Tulia drug sting fiasco and that is former undercover officer Tom Coleman, who fingered 46 people, 39 of them black, on dubious drug-related charges. To hold almost the entire Panhandle law enforcement community responsible for Coleman's actions is another travesty of justice."

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163 US TX: OPED: Rule Of Law Lost In PropagandaSun, 26 Oct 2003
Source:Amarillo Globe-News (TX) Author:McQueen, Alton Area:Texas Lines:70 Added:10/26/2003

The law-abiding citizens of Swisher County are the real victims in the aftermath of the Tulia drug sting.

They were denied the use of law to protect their community from drug predators. For attempting to do so, their community was vilified in the national propaganda media, the reputations of their local officials were trashed, and both the community and its officials face civil litigation (at least) for years to come.

The eight people convicted of drug crimes by juries and the 27 who pleaded guilty to similar crimes were greatly benefited by the propaganda campaign. Our politicians of easy virtue released those in prison and pardoned almost all those convicted either by juries or their own pleas.

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164US TX: DWI Appeal Is Rejected For Tulia ProsecutorThu, 23 Oct 2003
Source:Dallas Morning News (TX)          Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:10/23/2003

Lubbock-A court has denied the appeal of Terry McEachern, who prosecuted most of the now-discredited Tulia drug bust cases on a June misdemeanor aggravated drinking while intoxicated conviction stemming from a November incident in Ruidoso, NM. Mr. McEachern was sentenced to two days in jail.

[end]

165 US TX: DA Loses DWI Appeal In New MexicoWed, 22 Oct 2003
Source:Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX)          Area:Texas Lines:32 Added:10/23/2003

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - A New Mexico court has denied the appeal of a West Texas prosecutor on a misdemeanor aggravated drinking while intoxicated conviction.

Terry McEachern, who prosecuted most of the cases in the now-discredited Tulia drug busts, was convicted in June. He did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment Wednesday.

McEachern failed field sobriety tests in November in Ruidoso, N.M., and refused to take a breath test, which broke New Mexico's implied consent law and made it an aggravated DWI charge.

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166US CA: Column: Throwing Money At This War And Losing ItWed, 22 Oct 2003
Source:San Diego Union Tribune (CA) Author:Deerlin, Lionel Van Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:10/22/2003

Think two or three hundred years into the future. May Americans then view our 21st century drug laws in the same way this generation looks back on horrors of the Salem witch trials or the Spanish Inquisition?

But why wait? Shouldn't it already be clear that America's war on drugs is a cruel, costly failure?

Most immediately on our minds is the unenviable corner into which Rush Limbaugh painted himself. A persuasive molder of public opinion, this man has long supported punitive drug laws. His characterstic vitriol left no option toward violators but to "lock 'em up."

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167 US TX: PUB LTE: Tulia Drug Travesty Not A One-Man ShowWed, 22 Oct 2003
Source:Amarillo Globe-News (TX) Author:Henson, Scott Area:Texas Lines:45 Added:10/22/2003

Shame on you.

Bob Herbert had it right when he wrote:

"It would be outrageous if Coleman was nailed for perjury but the higher-ups who enthusiastically encouraged his activities - and prosecuted and imprisoned his victims - were allowed to escape all responsibility for their actions."

How prophetic. It's as though Herbert read your editorial, because the sentiment you expressed is indeed "outrageous."

Worse, by letting all the responsible parties off the hook, the Globe-News' proposed course of action would ensure that Panhandle law enforcement has every incentive to continue corrupt drug enforcement practices.

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168 US TX: Column: Law Handles Hypocrite Limbaugh With Kid GlovesTue, 21 Oct 2003
Source:Amarillo Globe-News (TX) Author:Sagan, Greg Area:Texas Lines:105 Added:10/21/2003

Whoa up here. Rush Limbaugh under investigation for drug abuse?

Boyohboyohboy - if this doesn't throw a major wrench in America's war on freedom. I guess the only thing worse would be former drug czar William Bennett admitting he shoots horse.

As I understand it, Limbaugh's maid has been dealing the big R prescription painkillers for some time. Limbaugh admits an addiction to some fancy opiate, apologizes, and informs us he's headed for detox and into the right lane for good. And we politely applaud this poor man's bravery.

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169US TX: Column: Man Pardoned After Tulia Scandal Has Hard TimeWed, 15 Oct 2003
Source:San Antonio Express-News (TX) Author:Clack, Cary Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:10/18/2003

TULIA - Stepping outside his house on a recent gray morning, Freddie Brookins Jr. swept his neighborhood with a glance and said, "I can't believe I'm still here." Except for 3 1/2 years, the 26-year-old Brookins has lived in Tulia all of his life. But it's those 3 1/2 years spent in prison that have changed everything.

On July 23, 2000, Brookins was one of 46 Tulians arrested in a predawn raid stemming from an 18-month narcotics sting operation by a now infamously discredited undercover agent named Tom Coleman, who had claimed to have bought cocaine from them.

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170US TX: Elks Spread Anti-Drug MessageThu, 09 Oct 2003
Source:Plainview Daily Herald (TX) Author:Gonzalez, Esther Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:10/14/2003

The Plainview Elks Lodge is part of a national program and has been in existence since 1909. The lodge is involved in many charities and work to support and encourage area youth.

Drug awareness for children in pre-K through 12 is a priority for the Elks. This year, five more area school districts added their names to the list to receive information for students, bringing the total number of educational packets distributed to 13,166.

With Red Ribbon Week, a National Drug Awareness Week, scheduled for Oct. 23-31, the Elks have worked hard to get information out to all the campuses.

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171US TX: Happy Outcome Of Tulia Case Strengthens One Man's FaithMon, 13 Oct 2003
Source:San Antonio Express-News (TX) Author:Clack, Cary Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:10/14/2003

AMARILLO -- The tiny town of Tulia, tucked in the Panhandle between Amarillo and Lubbock, was the site of an outrageous assault on the freedom of Americans.

But an adobe-style house, nearly hidden behind a graffiti-painted wall on 16th Street in Amarillo, was the headquarters for the counterassault to challenge this abuse of power.

The building is the law office of Jeff Blackburn, a gravelly voiced, 46-year-old attorney animated by the spirit of departed mentors such as Montgomery bus boycott leader E.D. Nixon and San Antonio lawyer and journalist Maury Maverick Jr.

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172US TX: Cary Clack: Happy Outcome Of Tulia Case Strengthens OneMon, 13 Oct 2003
Source:San Antonio Express-News (TX) Author:Clack, Cary Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:10/14/2003

AMARILLO - The tiny town of Tulia, tucked in the Panhandle between Amarillo and Lubbock, was the site of an outrageous assault on the freedom of Americans. But an adobe-style house, nearly hidden behind a graffiti-painted wall on 16th Street in Amarillo, was the headquarters for the counterassault to challenge this abuse of power.

The building is the law office of Jeff Blackburn, a gravelly voiced, 46-year-old attorney animated by the spirit of departed mentors such as Montgomery bus boycott leader E.D. Nixon and San Antonio lawyer and journalist Maury Maverick Jr.

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173 US CA: Column: Oaksterdam's FutureWed, 08 Oct 2003
Source:Anderson Valley Advertiser (CA) Author:Gardner, Fred Area:California Lines:210 Added:10/08/2003

Within a few blocks of Broadway and 18th Street in Oakland, at least six cannabis clubs are thriving -plus a plant store that sells supplies for growers. The anchor tenant in the 'hood now known as Oaksterdam is Jeff Jones's original Oakland Cannabis Buyers Co-op, transformed by federal injunction into a hemp store and registration service that issues cards to doctor-approved patients on behalf of the city. Two doors down is the Bulldog, a sidewalk cafe named and modeled after a famous club in Amsterdam. Around the corner on Telegraph is the high-volume Third Floor, and the Lemon Drop, which carries a fine line of pastries and serves the best coffee, and the newly opened 420 Cafe, which has a brick wall worthy of the Village Gate.

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174 US TX: Editorial: Drawing The Line For Tulia JusticeThu, 02 Oct 2003
Source:Amarillo Globe-News (TX)          Area:Texas Lines:66 Added:10/02/2003

A travesty of justice occurred in Tulia in 1999.

A questionable drug sting with little or no evidence other than the word of one discredited undercover officer who may eventually find himself on the wrong side of the law resulted in a national disgrace and a controversy that still reverberates.

However, one miscarriage of justice does not justify another.

That is precisely why more than 40 Panhandle cities, counties and government/elected officials should be not held accountable for the actions of, at most, a few.

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175US TX: Tulia Figure Calls Slur 'Greeting'Sun, 28 Sep 2003
Source:Dallas Morning News (TX)          Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:09/28/2003

Despite Using It 'A Lot,' Discredited Agent Tells Ed Bradley He's No Racist

Tom Coleman, a former undercover agent who faces perjury charges related to his part in the racially charged Tulia, Texas, drug busts, says that he's proud of what he did in the Panhandle town and that he's no racist, despite using a racial epithet "a lot."

The epithet - a derogatory term for blacks - is "common slang" and "a greeting," Mr. Coleman tells CBS' 60 Minutes journalist Ed Bradley in Sunday's telecast.

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176 US TX: Wire: Undercover Agent Defends Texas Drug BustsSat, 27 Sep 2003
Source:Associated Press (Wire) Author:Blackistone, Kevin Area:Texas Lines:62 Added:09/28/2003

Undercover Agent Defends Texas Drug Arrests in '60 Minutes' Interview, Despite Pardons

LUBBOCK, Texas Sept. 26 - A former undercover agent who faces perjury charges related to his part in the racially charged drug busts in Tulia says he's proud of what he did and is no racist, despite using a racial epithet "a lot." The epithet is "common slang" and "a greeting," Tom Coleman tells CBS' "60 Minutes" journalist Ed Bradley in Sunday's telecast.

But he tells Bradley, who is black, that he wouldn't use the racial slur with him. "Oh, no sir, not you," Coleman says, according to a news release from the show.

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177 US TX: Agent in Tulia Drug Busts Says Race Played No RoleSun, 28 Sep 2003
Source:Washington Post (DC)          Area:Texas Lines:55 Added:09/28/2003

LUBBOCK, Tex., Sept. 27 - A former undercover agent who faces perjury charges related to his part in the racially charged drug busts in Tulia says he is proud of what he did and is no racist, despite using a racial epithet "a lot."

The epithet is "common slang" and "a greeting," Tom Coleman tells CBS's "60 Minutes" journalist Ed Bradley in Sunday's telecast.

But he tells Bradley, who is black, that he would not use the racial slur with him. "Oh, no sir, not you," Coleman says, according to a news release from the show.

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178 US: Interview: Lost Cause?Wed, 01 Oct 2003
Source:Playboy Magazine (US) Author:Lazare, Daniel Area:United States Lines:134 Added:09/26/2003

A Frontline Report From The War On Drugs; Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director Of Drug Policy Alliance ; Interview

As executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance (drugpolicy.org), Ethan Nadelmann has been one of the most vocal critics of the federal war on drugs. A former Princeton professor, he founded the alliance in 1994 with backing from billionaire George Soros. Nadelmann spoke with writer Daniel Lazare.

PLAYBOY: Are we fighting a lost cause?

NADELMANN: Not at all. Surveys have shown that most Americans believe the drug war has failed. More than two thirds support treatment rather than incarceration for nonviolent offenders. Three fourths say medical marijuana should be legal and 41 percent say marijuana use should be treated as a health problem. Lately, we've had good news. In Tulia, Texas, where one cop arrested 10 percent of the black population for allegedly dealing--no drugs were ever introduced as evidence--a judge overturned the verdicts, and the cop is being prosecuted for perjury. The Canadian parliament is calling for decriminalization of marijuana. The mayor of Vancouver supports clean needle sites for addicts to slow the spread of HIV.

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179 US TX: PUB LTE: Innocent Until Proven Guilty Must Be GuardedSat, 20 Sep 2003
Source:Amarillo Globe-News (TX) Author:Bean, Alan Area:Texas Lines:46 Added:09/22/2003

"Molester priest dies!" the headline read.

"The Diocese of Amarillo regrets that a minor was the victim of sexual misconduct by a priest working in our diocese," Amarillo Bishop John W. Yanta stated recently.

After listening to Texas Ranger Jay Foster discuss the case of Father Edward Graff, the presumption of guilt came naturally.

"I've got victims going back to the late 1950s. I've been told there may be 40 at one school. There could be hundreds of victims in other places."

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180US TX: Column: Coach Returns To Help His Town HealSun, 21 Sep 2003
Source:Dallas Morning News (TX) Author:Blackistone, Kevin Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:09/22/2003

Tulia Native Believes Football Can Ease Racial Tension Caused By Sting

TULIA, Texas - After all that had gone on, after all that you'd heard, this was an unexpected sight, really. It unfolded just down main street here last Friday evening, past the scattered, empty looking storefronts that give this spit of a dusty panhandle town its The Last Picture Show look, past the tan courthouse and brick jailhouse where all the tumult took root, and up Dallas Avenue at the high school football stadium. But then you listened to Trampas Goodwin talk about why he bothered to come back home to Tulia, and you understood.

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