ACLU's Tulia Law Suit
Media Advisory

William Harrell Jeff Blackburn
Executive Director Cooperating Attorney
ACLU of Texas ACLU of Texas
(512) 441-3195 (806) 371-8333
(512) 695-7519

September 28, 2000, Austin, Texas -- The ACLU of Texas announces its intentions to file a law suit against Tu lia Sheriff Larry Stewart, undercover agent Thomas Coleman and District Attorney Terry McEachern for a conspiracy to violate the civ il rights of the African American population of Tulia, Texas.  The details of this law suit will be revealed at Noon on Friday September 29, 2000 on the South steps of the Capitol by ACLU of Texas Executive Director Will Harrell.  Also present will be fa milies and orphans of the wrongly imprisoned Tulians.  The civil law suit alleges the following claims:

The ACLU of Texas, through cooperating attorneys Jeff Blackburn, Van Williamson, and Jeff Frazier, are also handling some appeals of individuals wrongly convicted on the basis of evidence provided by Coleman.  We are also forwarding al l relevant documentation to the United States attorney and urging that office to bring criminal prosecutions against Mr. Coleman and Mr. McEachern for perjury and suborning perjury respectively.

"This is a gross miscarriage of justice with clear racial motivations.  The ACLU is seeking justice and retribu tion by using the civil rights statutes.  These are the so-called anti-Klan laws which ironically were created to remedy the perpetual racism of the post-Civ il War south." announced Will Harrell, Executive Director of the Texas ACLU.

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