Living among inmates affiliated with the Aryan Brotherhood isn’t how local Black Lives Matter activist Dominique Alexander imagined he’d be spending his time in prison.
Considered a high-profile inmate because of his activist work and the Dallas police shootings in July, he says he thought prison officials at the Walls Unit in Abilene would keep him out of general population and in a cell without a roommate. Instead the 27-year-old black man says he found himself surrounded by four white supremacists who were bald and covered in tattoos.
“The dude told me, ‘Of course, we are white supremacist, but the one thing we don’t like more [than a black man] is the crooked-ass cops,’” he says.
For the seven days he served in prison at the Walls Unit, Alexander says he spent his time going to recreation with the Aryan brothers and even got an envelope from one them so he could send a letter to his family back home in Oak Cliff.
On the eighth day, he learned he was “pulling chain” (going home).
He was released from prison on Wednesday with time served for his 2009 conviction of injury to a child. He no longer needs to worry about probation, an agreement with the court that prosecutors claimed he had been constantly violating.
Alexander says people shouldn’t be surprised he was released from prison so soon after his sentencing. “There was no deceptiveness or miscalculations despite what The Dallas Morning News [may imply].”
The paper reported that he had only served one year and 20 months in jail and that the judge had credited Alexander for the probation he had also served. Alexander claims he had served 21 months in jail and also that it was the DA’s Office's fault he was released from prison after only serving eight days. He says it involved a clerical error when he was put on probation in 2013: The prosecutor was supposed to list him as an “F2” classification but instead listed him as an “F1.”
He says this is the reason the judge had given him a light sentence when he initially pleaded guilty to injury to a child. “So basically we asked the judge, because this is an error, I should not have to be blamed for prosecutor’s error,” he says. “She agreed. That is why she gave me back time because the prosecutor’s office screwed up.”
The Dallas County DA’s Office could not be reached by press time.
Since his release from prison, Alexander has been quite busy with the Next Generation Action Network, a nonprofit organization he founded to help raise awareness of issues affecting the black community and build stronger leaders within the community.
Sporting a newly chipped front tooth, Alexander participated in a demonstration called “Enough is Enough” on Thursday evening at Dallas’ Garden Park. He then traveled to Tulsa on Saturday to join other activists who gathered to protest the killing of 40-year-old Terence Crutcher, who was shot and killed by Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby.
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Shelby’s attorney claims Crutcher, who was unarmed, wasn’t responding to police commands. But Tulsa District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler charged her with manslaughter, claiming Shelby “reacted unreasonably” and “overreacted.”
Alexander says a manslaughter charge wasn’t enough. “The officers elevate themselves to be judge, jury and executioner," he says. "We want to see convictions.”
Alexander plans to attend and hold a few more rallies and grow the Next Generation Action Network. He’s thankful to be out of prison, where he passed the time talking to a pet rat named Ben.
“It was a big relief,” he says. “It just verified I was doing the work that God had positioned me to do.”