Just over a year ago, the small Texas Panhandle town of Tulia, located in Swisher County, made national headlines when police rounded up more than 10 percent of the city's African-Americans and jailed them on drug charges. All of the arrests and charges were based on the uncorroborated word of one officer: Deputy Tom Coleman of the Swisher County sheriff's office. Coleman was a lawman with a checkered past. He had been charged with theft in Cochran County before signing on with Swisher County, where he was working as an undercover narcotics officer. He was also known as a "gypsy cop," a sort of hired gun who bounced from one law enforcement agency to the next -- usually one of the dozens of federally funded regional antidrug task forces that have sprung up around the state since they began forming... More >>>
| Next >>
Charles Workman (second from left) and Helen Boone (fifth from left) were among several Hearne residents to testify about task forces before the Texas legislature.