Hearne Community Forum

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In a little over 2 weeks a major trial alleging racial discrimination, police scandal, and bogus drug charges will go to trial. Two powerful groups came to Hearne to show their support for the plaintiffs involved in a lawsuit against Robertson County's District Attorney and drug task force officers.

A community forum was held tonight at a church in Hearne to address the issues surrounding the upcoming civil rights violation trial against Robertson County District Attorney, John Paschall, and 3 members of the drug task force.

MASS INC., which stands for Mothers and Fathers for the Advancement of Social Systems and the Texas Justice Network, organized the town hall meeting. Organizers say they want the community to know there is support for people who feel they've been wronged by the criminal justice system.

MASS President, Joyce Ann Brown, spent nearly a decade in prison for a crime she didn't commit and says it's very important to show support for those who are fighting for change within the criminal justice system.

" Everybody is watching and the ruling, if it goes forward, is going to be a victory and a joy because I've waited for 15 years for somebody to say that when the system wrongs someone and messes up their lives that they're going to be held accountable and I just want to let the plaintiffs know that we're here and we're going to stand strong with them, " said Brown.

Regina Kelly, a plaintiff involved in the lawsuit, says the ordeal has been tough, but she will never back down from doing what she feels is right.

" Being in a community so small, you would think you have more support than what you do, but you don't especially when you're fighting a battle as big as this. Everybody of all colors and all races has their doubts still and you have people that do believe in you, but they're just scared to go up against someone who has more power than us," said Kelly.

The ACLU was also on hand to explain the civil suit. Representatives say although going to trial is a major victory, the plaintiffs' struggles are far from over.

The Kelly v. Paschall trial is set for May 9th in Waco.