Black Lives Matter protesters face rare leak charge in Des Moines

Published: Jul. 7, 2020 at 3:33 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Prosecutors in Iowa have filed a rarely used leak charge against a Black Lives Matter protester accused of stealing a confidential police document and another who allegedly displayed it during a TV news broadcast.

Alexandria Dea, 26, allegedly took a police intelligence bulletin from the back pocket of a Des Moines Police officer’s pants. Later, Viet Tran, 21, talked about the bulletin and showed it on air during an interview with WOI-TV. The two have been charged with unauthorized dissemination of intelligence data, a felony charge that carries up to five years in prison.

The Iowa Judicial Branch says it’s only the second time the charge has been used since 2010. Des Moines police spokesman Paul Parizek says it’s appropriate given the circumstances of the case. The first page of the four-page document has a notice warning that it should not be shared or released publicly, and that doing so would violate Iowa code.

The document was a bulletin related to protesters who were under investigation for allegedly destroying a police car.

Tran was being held at Polk County Jail on an additional probation violation charge. Dea was also charged with felony theft but has been released on bond.

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