Interview with Hearne, Texas, drug war victim Regina Kelly

Radley Balko has posted a Flash-video interview he recorded with drug war victim Regina Kelly, one of the 27 black residents of Hearne, Texas, who were arrested in a Tulia-like incident involving an "informant" of the most scurrilous variety. Kelly, like most of the victims, was later exonerated. Balko and Kelly were both speakers at an ACLU conference in Seattle last weekend.

Seattle is a beautiful city -- with great drug reformers -- as I commented two weekends ago while the NORML Legal Seminar was convening in Aspen, "wish I were there..."

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Re Texas, drug war victim Regina Kelly

I live in Hearne, Tx and what took place here was wrong, but I do not think you are getting the hole picture, now you can get the Paul Harvey First of all Hearne does have a population of around 4900 people and 65% of them are African American about 23% white and 12% Mexi . now if you want to purchase drugs you can do that from all three percentages. But I can tell you that children were not being thrown to the ground with guns put to thier heads. if anyone was thrown to the ground that was not resisting arrest it was for safety isues. At these same projects that she refers to you can drive past them everyday like I do and see ages 4 and up walking along and in the roadway by thierselves to the store about 1/4 mile away. you can purchase drugs at this same location not the store 24 hours a day like a corner pharmacy except you do not need script. O ya and this did not happen every year to meet quotas. do not get me wrong for those who were not involved with the drug dealing you were falsly arrested and that is bull shit.
This should not have happend to you but what about the other 10 that were quilty.
This town does have alot of problems and drugs a major one and I hope every drug dealing prick gets what they deserve. And for anyone from Hearne, Tx resident that reads this you known everything is true and for you non residents remember the percentage at the top of this comment and than digest this Hearne School distric just spent over 8 million dollars on new schools and we have the highest drop out rate and the lowest ratings in the state so look at the hole picture if you want to look at all lets not make this a black and white thing. If you want to do something for this town take some time and encourage these kids to stay in school and stay off of drugs. you have an expeirence these kids can learn from and again I am sorry you had to go through this bull shit.

Are you serious?

Sweetheart, you need to learn how to spell and use proper grammar before you get on any other blog to comment on the drop out rate of Hearne's school and any other negative comments that you may have. Bless your heart...and you really thought you were making a point..? What person of would take you seriously?

I take her seriously

Yes it is sad, but seriously the person can only explain it the way they know how to express it. If God do not have a problem with her grammar , why should you? It is a blog, not a grammar class, surprisingly the same people we put in congress are worst off because they have to let someone interpret the laws and write down their speeches look at our ex-president. He went to a good college and still could not put it together.

What person of would take you seriously

Did you check your blog before you got on that person case. I just copy and paste the last sentence you wrote. Take out the "of" next time , and leave the person to say what they want.

You know, I'll bet you are

You know, I'll bet you are one of those racists( which could be of any race) that hates to see a person of color doing something positive. This woman wrote her feelings not caring about grammar or spelling. Anyone with an ounce of love and honesty in their heart would have understood exactly what she was trying to say and complimented her on it.

American Violent

Sounds like someone took it seriously. The ACLU, A producer, A director, and Million fans of the movie!

Judgement is a dangerous thing......

Stop hating and get real they was wrong

They was wrong for wat they did to regina kelly but god see all dat jappens here om earth I just moved from bryan and college station tx about 2 years ago and I was around when it happened drove to hearne and went to court everytime she was there and I always knew dat she would beat da case and then her baby daddy girlfriend is crazy as hell both of them the baby daddy and the girlfriend but dee keep ur head up and now beckett is in houston omg dee if u read dis send me ur number

It has to be that bad when society can't grow up

I am sorry, I have so many problems trying to fight off my city trying to destroy my home, I do not have internet access. When my college professor ask me to write a paper on racial profiling, I found your story. I am so honoured that God has been with you all through the ordeal. This country fight on freedom ended along time ago and it should not be going on in today society. I want you to think about being a activist for many reasons. God wants you to. You are a strong lady, and when other women who don't feel they are that strong who are in prisons for drug related crimes that need to change, the direction of this story will affect so many lives. If you ever want to talk I am here for you

Cops and other Texas public servants

Looks like I can find plenty of material in the Houston Chronicle to show the world how ethical our Texas way of living is...

Look at the racist filth no one protests.

I would like to commend you

I would like to commend you on your courage. You seem to say things that many are too afraid to speak on. I was moved when I read your blog, however disturbed when I read one particular response. This anonymous person critiqued your spelling and grammar mistakes but paid little attention to what it was you were actually saying. You spoke on the schools, drop out rates, and other negative issues happening in your town. You are a product of that town and know about your town. Who gives a damn about your spelling and grammar? I consider you a leader for change and that is what matters. You care about your town not just yourself. I commend you again and am also praying for you all and everyone in the world facing these issues.

How dare you!

I dont not care if the stats were 100% african american HOW DARE YOU TRY TO RATIONALIZE SOMEONE DOING SOMETHING AS HEINOUS AS THAT ! You need to go to jail like woman did ! You need to see the horror that this woman went through! Then you see if it was fair!


I don't know what world you live in, but I presume you're white and live there, so you have nothing to worry about. Second, you obviously have a low grade education if you believe any of what you just said! And by the way, you grammar and spelling are atrocious. Where is the punctuation? It's one long run-on sentence.

hoodrat gets lucky

Come on yall can we please be honest? This in everyway was what looks to be a rat that got lucky. I know her childs father(s) are pissed off right about now. Now this chick is supposed to be a spokesperson for us? Are yall niggas crazy? What is she the new rosa parks? Just in case yall didn't know, rosa parks wasn't the first lady to go to jail over not giving up her seat. A young lady with the last name of colvin was. She was a teenager that was pregnant by a married white man. The civil rights leaders at that time decided not to use her because she wasn't a good role model. Thats why they used ms parks. Thats exactly what we need to do with this chick. Keep it pushing.


Oh come on..."rat"? No matter what anyone thinks of this woman. She stood her ground. She stood up for herself when many didn't have the courage to do so. Who else was willing ot be the spokesperson? It doesn't matter who was chosen to be the spokesperson, what matters is why she was chosen and if it was effective. Rosa Parks really wasn't the first woman to give up her seat or go to jail for standing up for what she believed. But, during that particular time, she was the suitable person to use. Blacks were already being treated and depicted poorly in the south, someone pregnant by a married, white man would not have been the best person to use when trying to make their point, at that time. This doesn't mean this woman was a bad person or anything like that. We all get "caught up" sometimes. It just happened to be the wrong time for that type of situation. As far as the "rat" goes, yes she was young and ignorant, but she was willing ot stand up for her rights and that did happen to help many people.

Stupidity Knows No Bounds...

hood rate gets luck??????

Man: are you serious? Not only are your comments ignorant and illogical, but they ignore the point of the story..the district attorney targeted people based upon race. That's illegal. None of us are perfect. The beauty of Regina's/Dee's story is that she is an ordinary person who made an extraordinary decision. No one could blame her if she decided not to fight. But, she decided to forge ahead...Why am I wasting my time????? Obvioulsy, you don't get the point. You're just as bad as the DA.

What Are You Going to Do?

I agree with whomever wrote the 'Stupidity Has No Bounds....' blog. Regardless of where she came from, who her kids' fathers were or who she was, she did something very brave and something that a lot of us wouldn't have the guts to do now days. She stood up for something that she knew was wrong. And think about it.......regardless of what percentage of African Americans live in this town, none of them have any type of power to really be heard and make a difference. I saw the movie and read about the situation outside the movie and based on what I've learned, she could have been killed, targeted, or any other negative reinforcement for standing up to this D.A. and the town for that matter. Her story is extra ordinary.....not ordinary at all. Would you have risked your life and your family's life for this? Would you? Not knowing what the outcome might have been........if it would have made a difference at all? WOULD YOU???? Probably not.

And, for those of you pointing the finger or telling what you see the 4 yr olds do and whose walking to the store by themselves......what are you doing to make Hearne a better place? Are you taking part in some type of action to make things better? Every little bit me. Nothing is ever done in vain. Whether the children were thrown on the ground or not (they didn't show children being thrown on the ground) is not even the big issue. Let's face it.........that police force was doing something terribly wrong in Hearne and it finally came to the light. They were racially profiling citizens to reach a certain quota. I don't care if they arrested 10 and 8 of them were actual drug dealers....what about the other 2 that were picked out because of their race? And, I've never heard of a town doing as many raids as that and I live in the city where you can cocaine from your local doctor!

An educated, not a hood rat, woman

This is our world, smh God save us!

I am so surprised at some of the above comments. This girl is phenomenal, no matter what people think of her. I am a black woman, with two kids and two babies fathers. Am I proud of that ? No I am not , but I am proud of my self and my children. You all are dwelling on the wrong things.We need to empower ourselves and our children,our community. What happened in hearne Was wrong,the state of Texas is a racist black hole and I feel sorry fir any black people living there. True there is racism everywhere I live in NY, it's here too. Our country needs revitalization, thank god for our new president!

Written by a high school graduate, just returning to college
Ignorance is a state of mind, no amount of college or culture can change it.


What troubles me about this whole issue, is that the D.A. is still in office, after this whole incident took place, if i'm not mistaken This town is one of those small towns that say, everything was alright tell some outsiders came and messed it all up. For who, them. See thats the problem, some folks seem to feel that everything should stay the way it has been, for as long as they can remember. Just because it's been that way, doesnt make it right. YOU STAY IN YOUR PLACE AND EVERYTHING WILL BE OK. Hopefully these narrow minded people will soon become a thing of the past, like dinosaurs, extinct.

Who would continue to vote for this DA?

I so admire Regina Kelly for standing up to this dirty DA.
Unfortunately, all over the US, we are locking up non-violent people in cages for what they put in their body or for providing it. NO ONE should be locked up like that. The War on Drugs is wrong. It's not smart, it's not just and it's not effective in keeping drugs away.
We need to treat all drugs the way we treat alcohol and public health issues.
What kind of people would continue to vote for this dirty DA?

Will We Ever Evolve?

The problem is not whites who hate or target blacks. The problem is that we as black people can't stick together long enough to do anything about it. We are truly our own worst enemy. We are so worried about getting over, looking out for self, being the house nigga not the field nigga, or being better than each other that we can't see that when the least of us are being mistreated it makes it that much easier for the rest of us to be treated the same way. On the plantation a nigga was a nigga. The house nigga and the field nigga served different purposes but neither were looked at as human beings simply property. The whole idea behind that structure was to divide and conquer and it worked. We are still divided.
I don't have children but I applaud any black woman, no matter how many kids or baby daddy's, who is trying to better herself so that her kids can have a role model to look up to. The look up to Beyonce why not you?
I pray that all races can one day learn to live in harmony. Do I believe that it will happen? Not really. We probably can't change those of us who have already been programmed to believe that we can't do any better and that the white man is always right but we can start from here. We can teach our children better. Just because your parents were statistics does not mean that you have to be one no matter what anyone says. It has to start somewhere. Why not here? Why not now?
You go Regina!!! God Bless you!


I'm here on the other side of the world and was interested and curious enough after seeing the movie to google the subject. What has suprised me most in this whole story is that the DA is question is still in office. Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't DA an elected position? With a population that is 65% African American why wasn't this guy voted out? African Americans don't vote apparently. Here where I live voting is complusory, and while this has many critics, at least everyone's voice is heard on election day.

BRAVA, REGINA Kelly!!! (boo, hiss the DA!)

WOW! I spent 10 years ('88-'98) living just down the road from Hearne, TX, in College Station, and never knew anything about Hearne other than not to speed whenever travelling through there.

I just watched American Violet, including all the special features (including the entire version of the film with the Director's Commentary). As a Texas A&M University graduate, I am outraged and enraged that the illegal, racist practices of this DA were allowed to go on for so long less than 30 miles from my alma mater; and I'm just plain disgusted that this DA inexplicably managed to win the subsequent election(s?)!!!

Get out and VOTE HIM OUT, people of Hearne!!! Otherwise, you'll continue to be one of the internationally most ridiculed sad jokes of our nation as the word continues to spread!

To Regina Kelly: You are my new hero, woman!!! The guts it took for you to stand up to this ol' boy network of racist goons are analogous to David taking on Goliath, and I salute you as an example of what all citizens of our world should strive toward! There is NO doubt in my mind that G-d was and is on your side! :-)
As an educator, you can bet I'll be sharing your story with my students - not only to educate them, but also to inspire them! We teach all kinds of anti-bullying programs in our schools today... Your story is the epitome of standing up to a bully!

As for all you critics and negative-minded bloggers who talk demographics and politics within the confines of your grammatically-challenged capabilities, I only have this to say: May you never be on the receiving end of such unfair treatment, and may you someday see the light!

Peace and blessings to you all!

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