The new Samuel Goldwyn Pictures film, “American Violet,” captures the roles that a Baylor Law School alumnus and his professor played in the lives of a group of low income, black Texans. The movie fictionalizes the story of some African-American residents of Hearne, who claimed they were wrongly caught up in a drug roundup and who sued various law enforcement officials. Baylor law professor Mark Osler, fictionalized as “Joe Fischer” in the film, says he asked former student David Moore, now a solo in Groesbeck, renamed “Sam Conroy” for the movie, to assist with the Hearne residents’ civil suit, Kelly, et al. v. Paschall, et al., filed in 2002 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District in Waco. “I’m glad they’re telling the story about what David did,” Osler says. Osler says Moore, who was a career police officer before he went to law school, risked alienating many of the law enforcement officers he formerly worked with by representing Regina Kelly and other Hearne residents who were plaintiffs in Kelly. He says Moore represented the plaintiffs pro bono. “It was one of the most admirable things I’ve ever seen anyone do,” Osler says. Actor Will Patton plays Moore’s character in the film, and Christopher McCann plays Osler’s character. The film showed March 15 at the South by Southwest film festival in Austin and is scheduled for a 6 p.m. screening today at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Hearne. Another showing is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Mayborn Museum on the Baylor University campus in Waco.
-- Mary Alice Robbins