A Des Moines protester was found guilty of first-degree theft for stealing a flyer from a Minneapolis police officer’s back pocket last summer.
Alexandria Dea, 27, didn’t steal just any flyer from Minneapolis Officer Peter Wilson. According to the Des Moines Register, it contained images of several protesters from a Black Lives Matter demonstration following the death of George Floyd last year. Minneapolis officers claim the flyer was being used to seek out and arrest the individuals who were suspected of vandalizing a police car.
Flyers with photos of protesters...Now does that make anyone else think of COINTELPRO, the FBI surveillance program that tracked and gathered information on members of the Black Panther Party?
Dea was charged with felony first-degree theft last July, according to the Register, and Judge David Porter found her guilty on Monday. She waived her right to a jury trial and consented to allow the judge to decide using the facts already on the record.
The Associated Press reports that Dea was also charged with another felony for “unauthorized dissemination of intelligence data” after she gave the bulletin to another activist who showed it to a TV reporter. That charge was later dropped.
Here’s what happened at the protest last year, according to AP:
Prosecutors have said Dea picked up and threw a police radio that fell to the ground as the officer scuffled with a protester on July 1, 2020. She was also accused of taking the intelligence bulletin from an officer’s back pocket during the confrontation, then gave it to another Black Lives Matter activist who gave it to a television reporter.
Dea and the other activist had also initially been charged with a rarely-used count of leaking intelligence data, but the charge was dismissed in July after a judge ruled that the bulletin did not count as “intelligence data.”
Dea is expected to seek a deferred judgment when she’s sentenced on Dec. 7, according to AP.