In November 2000, 20 residents of Hearne, TX were rounded up and arrested on drug distribution charges.
While on the surface, the raid seemed to be a triumph in the war on drugs, with 20 criminals behind bars. In reality, the event was an attack on African Americans in the small town of 5,000 people.
All 20 were fingered by a hapless crack addict who later admitted he was threatened by authorities if he did not implicate 20 residents of the Hearne housing projects.
The residents were booked and offered plea bargains if they confessed. Several innocent people took the plea bargain. Regina Kelly, a waitress and mother of four, refused.
With a battle than began that fateful day in November, Kelly became the lead plantiff in the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas lawsuit that accused the district attorney’s office of targeting minorities.
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