One Ranger

by Jackson, Joaquin; Wilkinson, David Marion

Legend says that one Ranger is all it takes to put down lawlessness and restore the peace?one riot, one Ranger. In this adventure-filled memoir, Joaquin Jackson recalls what it was like to be the Ranger who responded when riots threatened, violence erupted, and criminals needed to be brought to justice across a wide swath of the Texas-Mexico border from 1966 to 1993.

Jackson has dramatic stories to tell. Defying all stereotypes, he was the one Ranger who ensured a fair election?and an overwhelming win for La Raza Unida party candidates?in Zavala County in 1972. He followed legendary Ranger Captain Alfred Y. Allee Sr. into a shootout at the Carrizo Springs jail that ended a prison revolt?and left him with nightmares. He captured "The See More Kid," an elusive horse thief and burglar who left clean dishes and swept floors in the houses he robbed. He investigated the 1988 shootings in Big Bend's Colorado Canyon and tried to understand the motives of the Mexican teenagers who terrorized three river rafters and killed one. He even helped train Afghan mujahedin warriors to fight the Soviet Union.

Jackson's tenure in the Texas Rangers began when older Rangers still believed that law need not get in the way of maintaining order, and concluded as younger Rangers were turning to computer technology to help solve crimes. Though he insists, "I am only one Ranger. There was only one story that belonged to me," his story is part of the larger story of the Texas Rangers becoming a modern law enforcement agency that serves all the people of the state. It's a story that's as interesting as any of the legends. And yet, Jackson's story confirms the legends, too. With just over a hundred Texas Rangers to cover a state with 267,399 square miles, any one may become the one Ranger who, like Joaquin Jackson in Zavala County in 1972, stops one riot.

2005, softcover 2007
University of Texas Press, 299 pages
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