Tulia Talks Back

From the filmmakers:

Over the years, the Tulia story generated a great deal of mainstream media coverage—much of it playing off small town stereotypes. In the making of our documentary TULIA, TEXAS, we encountered many residents who were frustrated by how their town had been represented by the media. So we asked some of Tulia's current and former residents, who attended local screenings of the documentary, to contribute their opinions on the events that put their town in the national spotlight.

—Cassandra Herrman and Kelly Whalen

Read what Tulians had to say about the film:

headshot of Thelma Johnson

Thelma Johnson
A founding member of Friends of Justice

“There isn't a town in America that doesn't have some racism, and racism goes both ways. But when you single out a group of people as drug dealers; that really got me. Forty-six drug dealers in Tulia, Texas…in one community? Who were they selling to?”   Read more >>

headshot of Doyle Ozment

Doyle Ozment
Investigator, Tulia Police Department

“It seems that the positive things about Tulia were left out because if they allowed the world to see all races in the community getting along and/or helping each other, it wouldn’t fit the portrayal of Tulia that has been in the news arena for almost 10 years.”   Read more >>

headshot of Page Lacey Heisser

Page Lacey Heisser, PhD, LMFT
Former Tulia resident

“One of the strengths of the film is its plain explanation of how rural economics, politics and small town justice converge to influence decent citizens of a town towards making such bad decisions.”  

Tulia Resident (anonymous)

“The people they arrested were an easy target: they were poor, some didn’t have jobs or had problems with drug and alcohol addiction already. The people arrested were an easy target and the law enforcement knew no one would stand up for them.”   Read more >>

headshot of James M. Wilterding, M.D.

James M. Wilterding, M.D.
Former Tulia resident

“There tends to be a bias in our society against small towns and rural America in general. I expected to see that in the film, but did not pick up a trace of it.”   Read more >>

headshot of Lloyd Singer

Lloyd Singer
Tulia resident

“The Drug Enforcement Industrial Complex, like many bureaucratic institutions, may have gotten out of hand. But painting an entire community as racist with your broad brush is not justified.”   Read more >>


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