Police brutality protest leader sentenced to two years in prison
CLAUDIA LAUER | 9/6/2016, 12:18 p.m.
(AP) – A leader of the group that has organized the protests against police brutality was sentenced Friday to prison for unrelated probation violations.
State District Judge Gracie Lewis revoked probation for Dominique Alexander and sentenced him to two years in prison with credit for time served. Alexander, the 27-year-old founder of the Next Generation Action Network that organized the July 7 rally to protest recent fatal police shootings of Black men, had been on probation for a 2009 felony injury to a child conviction.
The hearing Friday was held two weeks after Dallas County District Attorney officials filed a motion to revoke Alexander’s probation for multiple violations. Alexander’s supporters have said those issues had largely already been addressed by the same judge at previous hearings. They say he is being targeted because of the protest, but the shooter Micah Johnson was not affiliated with their group.
“We will continue to push for police reform. This is the very reason we need to push for police reform. This system is corrupt,” said Kim Cole, an attorney for Alexander and for the network. “There were five applications [for revocation] filed in 11 days and there were no new offenses committed. Explain that.”
Prosecutors alleged Alexander violated his probation by missing meetings with his probation officer, leaving the state without notifying his probation officer, failing to complete community service and classes and falling behind on fines and fees. Court records showed Lewis sentenced Alexander to 10 days in jail in December for several missed meetings and added 30 hours of community service after he admitted to leaving the state at a hearing earlier this month.
Prosecutor Douglas Millican said Alexander was being treated the same as any other defendant.
“I feel silly having to say this, but we would be standing here in this position regardless of circumstances with who the defendant was or what he was involved in. I would be having the same conversation with you if he was a pediatric neurosurgeon and had to be in surgery in 10 minutes,” he told the judge.
Cole said Alexander received extra scrutiny because of his protest involvement, noting that police and sheriff’s officers had sent social media posts and other photos and video of Alexander to the judge to show he had left the state.
Lewis said she had given Alexander multiple opportunities over the last six years to follow the rules.
“I’ve done everything but almost beg him to do what he is supposed to do,” she said.
Cameron Gray, another attorney representing Alexander, said he doesn’t plan to appeal the ruling. He said with time served Alexander will be eligible for parole in six months or less.