As Freddie Brookins, Jr. was stepping into his morning bath he saw a shadow move across the bathroom window and heard his girlfriend Terry shouting from the front of the house, "There's people in the yard!" Freddie grabbed a sheet and wrapped it around himself. Immediately he heard a loud knock at the door. Freddie cracked the door open and saw Sheriff Stewart on his porch. Behind him were perhaps half a dozen men with guns. Men in black with ski masks lay prone in the yard, rifles pointed in his direction.
Freddie had grown up going to the same Church of Christ chapel with Larry Stewart, where he'd listened to the old farmer sing every Sunday.
"We have a warrant for your arrest, Freddie," Stewart said. He slid a piece of paper through the screen door. "Delivery of cocaine," Freddie read. He was dumbfounded. His first instinct was to shut the door.
"If you close the door, we'll have to shoot," Stewart warned. Freddie stepped out onto the porch, holding his sheet up with one hand and the warrant in the other.
"Put your hands against the house!" one of the agents shouted. By now the neighbors had come out up and down the street.
"Freddie, I'm not going to tell you again," Stewart warned. Then somebody snatched the sheet off, and Freddie stood there buck-naked on his front porch as they cuffed him and read him his rights. The agents began to pull him toward the car. Freddie recognized a Tulia cop that he knew as Big Otis. "Let me put some clothes on," Freddie pleaded. Otis intervened and took Freddie inside. Stewart and a half-dozen cops followed. As Terry cowered in the living room, Freddie got dressed.
"Larry, you've known me for years and you've never known me to sell drugs," Freddie said. Stewart's long-jowled face was like a rock. "Well, I don't know about that," he said.
"What do you mean you've never sold drugs?" one of the masked agents jeered. He stepped up close and put his pistol near Freddie's head. With his other hand he pulled his mask up. It was Tom Coleman, the sheriff's undercover officer in Tulia. "Recognize me now?" he gloated. Freddie didn't.
"Take him to the car," Stewart said.
Pub date: 08/22/06
Price: $14.95/18.00 Canada
5 1/2 x 8 1/4
Carton Quantity: 24
Current Events, True Crime
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