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
Click the link below, and make your feelings known.
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
Division of Parole
97 Central Avenue
Albany, New York, 12206