What You Can Do to Help Keep a Cop Killer Behind Bars
Michael Levine and son, Keith (inset)
January 03, 2011
Michael Alston may have been known on the streets as Sugar Bear, but he’s a heartless, cold-blooded cop killer who should remain behind bars when the New York State Parole Board meets this week. And YOU can make that happen.
Alston, now 54, worked as an enforcer for drug dealers. A two-time convicted killer, he was out of jail less than a month just days after Christmas 1991 when he and two other thugs beat a man who’d just taken money from an ATM machine on West 57th Street in Manhattan around 2 a.m.
Off-duty NYPD Sgt. Keith Levine saw what was happening and rushed to help. He chased the pack on foot, was shot twice and died.
Alston is serving 15 years to life thanks to a 1993 plea bargain — courtesy of prosecutors who were afraid that an earlier confession from a wrongly arrested suspect could let the real shooter walk. This is his third crack at parole.
“By killing my son, he technically qualified as a serial killer,” said the slain hero’s father, Michael Levine, a retired DEA agent who now teaches police and lectures on undercover tactics and informant handling. “Which means in a sane society I shouldn’t even have to write this.
“I shouldn’t have to tell this or any parole board that if this man is set free while he can pull a trigger that’s what he will do: He will kill again, and again and again,” said Levine, who wrote the best-selling book “Deep Cover.”
“This is what he does, this is what he’s done since childhood,” he said. “This is what he has done every time he’s been set free by parole boards in the past and that, other than death or a cage, there is no cure for this.
“To set a virus like this free is to condemn the children of some other father to death. And that what NYPD Sgt. Keith Richard Levine died trying to prevent.”
So here’s what we need to do: Write the New York State Parole Board.
Don’t forget to include:
RE: Michael Alston
As if it weren’t painful enough, Levine noted that the letter from the Parole Board notifying him of the Jan. 17 hearing is addressed to Michael “Lavigne.”
“I have been part of law enforcement and military bureaucracies long enough to be used to this kind of insensitivity,” said Levine, whose expert testimony in more than 300 cases nationwide have helped put criminals behind bars. “However, given Mr. Alston’s past record of rubber-stamped paroles after multi-felony convictions including two homicides, it certainly does not add to my confidence that anything I say will matter.
“And it’s not just getting my name wrong that is so disturbing. It is forgetting the family name of the 27-year old police officer who died trying to protect the innocent from this parole-licensed killer that is both unforgivable and frightening.”