Judge dismisses another Des Moines protester's 'intelligence data' leak charge
Correction: This story has been updated with the correct spelling of Alexandria Dea's first name.
A judge has dismissed one of two charges against a woman charged with illegally stealing and disseminating a Des Moines police bulletin during a July 1, 2020, protest at the Iowa State Capitol.
Alexandria Dea, 27, of Des Moines was charged with first-degree theft and unauthorized dissemination of intelligence data, both felonies. Polk County Judge Joseph Seidlin dismissed the intelligence charge Friday when he ruled the bulletin was "not intelligence data."
Viet Tran, 22, of Des Moines also had a charge of unauthorized dissemination of intelligence data dismissed in May when Judge Jeffery Farrell ruled the same bulletin was not intelligence data.
On July 1, 2020, Des Moines police officers were using a four-page bulletin to identify protesters at the Capitol who they suspected vandalized a Des Moines police cruiser at a Hy-Vee store that June, according to Seidlin's order. Dea picked up an officer's radio and threw it from him and took the bulletin from the officer's back pocket, according to criminal complaints in the case.
Later that day, at a protest at the Polk County Jail, Tran showed the bulletin to Eva Andersen, a reporter for ABC affiliate WOI-TV.
In the order, Seidlin said the phrases "intelligence report" and "intelligence data" appear in the boilerplate caption of the document, but the sole purpose of the document was to locate and charge individuals for suspected criminal activity 10 days beforehand, Seidlin wrote.
"Nowhere in the document is there any reference to anticipating, preventing or monitoring possible criminal activity," Seidlin wrote. "The document at issue here contains only criminal investigative data and no intelligence data."
Detectives argued that they were using the document to anticipate, prevent and monitor possible criminal activity and charge people for past criminal behavior, the judge wrote. But regardless of how they used it, Dea was only charged with illegally communicating the information in the document, he said.
"Ms. Dea is not accused of knowing or communicating to anyone the detectives' statements as to how they may have been using the information," Seidlin wrote.
Dea still faces the felony theft charge. Dozens of protesters arrested in Des Moines during protests after George Floyd's death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer on May 25, 2020, have had their charges dismissed because of a lack of documentation, improper plea agreements and other reasons like Dea's.