The Champion

March 2009 , Page 59 

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Book and TV Reviews

By Ivan J. Dominguez, William R. Montross Jr.

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Tulia, Texas

February 2009
PBS
Reviewed by Ivan J. Dominguez 

The tragic and colossal tale of injustice that unfolded in Tulia, Texas, is nothing less than a microcosm for much of what is wrong with America’s “War on Drugs” and the prominent role race plays in the implementation of such criminal justice policies in this country. In this sad chapter of a “War on Drugs” first declared as such by disgraced former President Richard M. Nixon, nearly 50 men and women, fully 80 percent of whom were African American, were arrested and charged in a single roundup on July 23, 1999, based solely upon the uncorroborated testimony of rogue undercover officer Tom Coleman. Before Coleman’s questionable past and the fabricated cases against these defendants came fully to light, he was named “Officer of the Year” in Texas in recognition of this very sweep.

In February, PBS aired Cassandra Herrman and Kelly Whalen’s documentary, Tulia, Texas, as part of its Emmy award-winning Independent Lens series. Several

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  • Media inquiries: Contact NACDL's Director of Public Affairs & Communications Ivan J. Dominguez at 202-465-7662 or idominguez@nacdl.org
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