12/29/2010

Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor in Chief10-43: Be Advised...
with Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor in Chief

Killer of NYPD Sgt. Keith R. Levine set to go free

Victim impact hearing for cop-killer Michael Alston (NYSID#0:3 521538N, DIN#: 93A0704) to be held on January 7, 2011

Editor’s Note: I’ve received word that several people — if not many people — have had problems posting their say to the parole board website. I’m with you. I’ve tried repeatedly and gotten the same error message every time. I'm not sure if that’s because we’re flooding the system or if the system itself it just wonky. Nevertheless, I called their offices to let them know about the problem and was told they’d fix it, Regardless, my back-up plan is to compile all our member comments in the space below, paste them into one document, and FedEx it to them on Wednesday evening so it’s certain to be in their hands on Friday for the hearing.

Today I received a note from the father of a cop killed in the line of duty. In his note, Mike Levine — himself a retired 30-year veteran of law enforcement — said that he’d recently gotten word that the man who murdered his son is up for parole.

Twenty-nine years ago almost to the day — in the small hours of December 28, 1991 — NYPD Sgt. Keith Richard Levine was off duty, driving through Manhattan on his way home, when he saw an armed robbery happening at an ATM machine. There were three individuals robbing one, when Sgt. Levine sprung into action, stopping his car and giving chase on foot.

“During [the] chase and gunfight,” the elder Levine wrote, “Keith was killed by a man named MICHAEL ALSTON. Alston, at the time he killed Keith, was on the street again after having been twice convicted of homicide in New York City. Killing my son I think now officially qualifies him as a serial killer, and we can't even estimate how many homicides he's gotten away with.”

Yet the New York Parole Board has seen — in its ultimate wisdom (gag) — that Alston should be set free on the streets to kill again.

“I don't know whether or not you guys can do anything, but I figure it is worth a try ... I was told that I would be allowed to give a 'victim statement' to a parole board commissioner, who would most likely not be one of the people actually hearing the case, but that my words would be transcribed and given to the board. There is of course no guarantee that they will even be read, but I suppose that's the way it goes in all bureaucracies ... they got my name wrong; it's Levine, not Lavigne, which certainly doesn't give me much confidence. In any case, I think it a good idea that, if possible, PoliceOne spread the word. Perhaps some letters from across the country might do some good.”

Levine correctly wrote that in a sane society he wouldn’t even be writing this letter. Sadly, we don’t live in a sane society.

We’ve prevented the release of cop killers before. Let’s do it again.

RE: Michael Alston
NYSID#0:3 521538N
DIN#: 93A0704

Click the link below, and make your feelings known.

https://www.parole.state.ny.us/boardletters/forminput.jsp

Or you can send letters via regular old snail mail. Have your entire department sign a petition in opposition to this miscarriage of justice and send it via overnight mail to:

State of New York
Executive Department
Division of Parole
97 Central Avenue
Albany, New York, 12206

About the author

Doug Wyllie is Editor in Chief of PoliceOne, responsible for setting the editorial direction of the website and managing the planned editorial features by our roster of expert writers. In addition to his editorial and managerial responsibilities, Doug has authored more than 750 feature articles and tactical tips on a wide range of topics and trends that affect the law enforcement community. Doug is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), and an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers' Association. He is also a member of the Public Safety Writers Association, and is a three-time (2011, 2012, and 2014) Western Publishing Association "Maggie Award" Finalist in the category of Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column. Even in his "spare" time, he is active in his support for the law enforcement community, contributing his time and talents toward police-related charitable events as well as participating in force-on-force training, search-and-rescue training, and other scenario-based training designed to prepare cops for the fight they face every day on the street.

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