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Two ‘Black Lives Matter’ protesters are charged with unauthorized dissemination of intelligence data, a felony that carries up to five years in prison, Fox News reports.
Prosecutors filed the charges in Iowa and it’s reportedly a rarely used leak charge. They are accused of stealing a confidential police document and displaying it during a television news broadcast.
It’s only the second time that the charge has been filed since 2010, the Iowa Judicial Branch noted.
26-year-old Alexandria Dea took the intelligence bulletin from an officer’s back pocket during a confrontation between officers and protesters.
Then 21-year-old Viet Tran discussed and displayed the bulletin during an interview that was broadcast on WOI-TV, an ABC affiliate, according to a complaint.
Des Moines police spokesman Sgt. Paul Parizek said, “This is my first experience with it ever being applied to anyone outside law enforcement, but obviously the circumstances were pretty uniqu.”
He continued: “Those documents are not supposed to be shared. It’s actually written on them. As soon as they did that, the charge was appropriate.”
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The document in question was a Des Moines Police Department bulletin that officers and state troopers had with them while patrolling a July 1 protest at the Iowa Capitol. The bulletin included photos of suspects who were wanted in the destruction of a Des Moines police car during a June 20 protest.
Protesters later gathered at the Polk County Jail to demand the release of those arrested during the clash. While there,
The first page of the four-page document has a notice warning that it shouldn’t be shared or released publicly, and that doing so would violate Iowa code.
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Tran remained jailed Tuesday on a complaint alleging he violated the terms of his probation from an assault case when he interfered with officers at the July 1 protest.
The television story didn’t show the name or face of the person speaking about the document, but Parizek said police identified the source as Tran.
The reporter who included the bulletin in her story and tweeted photos of the document has not been charged.
“It wouldn’t be appropriate to hold a reporter accountable for trying to do their job,” Parizek said. “They get more leeway than the average person would.”