On this day, Jan. 14, in 2005, Tom Coleman, a former Texas narcotics agent, was convicted of aggravated perjury in a case that involved dozens of discredited arrests of black citizens in a dusty West Texas town. Six years earlier, 46 people were rounded up in Tulia based on the testimony of Coleman, who worked alone and without audio or video surveillance. Instead, he jotted information on his leg. Although no drugs, weapons or large sums of cash were recovered, Coleman was named Texas Lawman of the Year. Then it was learned that Coleman himself was wanted by the police for allegedly stealing from his previous job.
After an inquiry, Gov. Rick Perry pardoned 35 of those arrested. Coleman was convicted of lying about his previous arrest charge and sentenced to 10 years probation.