“bullet” Via Grits for Breakfast is coverage of the premiere of American Violet – a feature film that fictionally portrays the case of Regina Kelly, who was swept up in a Texas drug bust in Hearne, Texas by a rogue drug task force targeting African Americans and using a single informant. Once the facts came to light, the charges against her were dropped and her record expunged (I got to meet Regina at a national drug policy conference — quite an amazing lady).
A free screening of the movie was given in Hearne, Texas, where tensions are still high
Last week Herald, a Catholic priest better known as Father Bob, circulated through downtown and asked about a dozen shopkeepers to tack up movie posters advertising the 6 p.m. screening. He had watched the film twice, and he thought it instructive and wholesome.
By the next day, he said, most of the posters were in the garbage. Shop owners told Herald that they had been visited by a uniformed investigator from the Robertson County District Attorney‰s Office who suggested the movie was full of lies and anti-law enforcement and that their businesses might suffer unless the posters were removed.
‹They felt intimidated,Š Herald said. […]
Regina Kelly is also trying to get an apology from District Attorney John Paschall
That‰s doubtful. While Paschall did not return Chronicle calls, he did have some pithy statements for the Dallas Morning News:
‹The only way I‰d watch (the movie), I‰d have to be handcuffed, tied to a chair and you‰d have to tape my eyes open.Š
“bullet” Scott also notes some encouraging news in legal areas regarding the use of informants
As Texas considers bills to corroborate and ensure reliability of jailhouse informant testimony, I was interested to see that bipartisan legislation moving in Florida takes a different tack on regulating confidential informants. Reports AP:
The proposed bill would create strict standards on the use of confidential informants and give them the right to talk to an attorney before agreeing to help police.
It would not allow people in drug treatment programs to be used in undercover drug operations.
Plus, the plan would prevent a nonviolent offender from being involved in any undercover operation involving weapons or suspects with violent criminal records.