Can You Hear Me Now

| November 22, 2002

Can You Hear Me Now?

After entering the national media spotlight in recent years after The New York Times picked up the story of the 1999 Tulia, Texas drug busts, attention on the town has subsided to almost nonexistent once again. Yet earlier this month The Texas Observer's Nate Blakeslee revisited the current situations facing those involved in the drug busts, and learned about the history of Tulia that shaped the possibility for such a sequence of events.

The short version of the Tulia story goes as follows: The town's sheriff used money from the governor's office to hire a undercover cop with a checkered past to work without supervision, making drug buys of mostly powdered cocaine from forty six different individuals. The officer never wore a wire and his reports were never corroborated by another, and at the time of arrest, not one suspect possessed any drugs or weapons. Additionally, forty of the forty-six suspects were black (in a town with less than 300 black residents), and the busts led to sentencing of some individuals with up to 90 years in jail.

In Blakeslee's second trip to Tulia, the author learns the history of the town's construction and how highways were used to separate and then throw together white and black Tulia, and re-interview some of the prisoners facing years in jail based on the spotty evidence of one undercover officer.
--Erica Sagrans
Go there>>

Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $40.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $45 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!

Facebook Instagram Twitter