Alec Hunter is a 15 year old black male who is a sophomore, attending Elkins High School located in Missouri City, a suburb in southwest Houston. Alec has been noted to be a good student, respectful young man, a normal outgoing teenager and very well liked by many of his teachers. On November 4, 2015, Alec found a $10 bill on campus grounds. At lunch he attempted to use the $10 bill to purchase his lunch. The cafeteria employee tested the bill and the bill by sight, didn’t seem to look counterfeit. The cafeteria employee utilized her counterfeit pen detector and the bill didn’t pass inspection. The cafeteria worker gave the $10 bill to Ft Bend ISD police who then wanted to question Alec without his parents being present. Alec’s mother expressed that the police did not have permission to run any inquiries through her son without her being there, this including a formal statement that the police wanted from Alec. Ft. Bend is now trying to use this against Alec and his family as if there was intent to hide information. Alec is now facing felony forgery charges before he’s even old enough to get a job and make his own money. Alec is now facing accusations that he “engaged in delinquent conduct” and could formally be charged with forgery and the “intent to defraud” violating the Texas Penal Code.
Attorney Deron Harrington researched the counterfeit issues taking place in Ft Bend County and linked the following which is quite disturbing.
- Over a one-year period – the total money in question was only $152 leading to approximately six incidents.
- Each circumstance led to individuals denying that they knew the bill was counterfeit, Each time, FBISD Police forwarded the matter to the Ft. Bend District Attorney’s office to charge the individual.
Here is the more disturbing information concerning these cases:
- In every single incident – the suspect was African American.
Louis Hunter who is the father to Alex stated that court officials encouraged his son to take a “deferred prosecution” deal that very much resembles a guilty plea. Typically this is very common among the DA’s office – to criminalize the innocent just so they can have a “win” on their books and appear to be pushing fair and unbiased justice however when counterfeit cases that all target black individuals in Ft Bend County, that’s hardly fair to those children who are truly innocent. It is dangerous to think that our own justice system cares more about their own record than the records of black youth who’ve not even begun to start their lives. How many young teens would actually know a bill was counterfeit? It was obvious that the cafeteria employee didn’t know the bill was counterfeit until she used her detection pen. I’m guessing that it would be safer to purchase counterfeit detection pens and put them in the hands of ALL black youth to test each bill used before giving money to school employees so that they won’t be facing charges. This is the message Ft Bend ISD Police and the Ft Bend DA’s office is sending to black families. It is also unnerving because this is a clear case of wasteful tax dollars being used on a very weak case with no evidence.
Ft Bend DA Drops Charges Against Rosenberg Asst Police Chief
The Ft Bend DA’s office, the very same office looking to criminalize 15 year old Alec Hunter with no evidence, cites charges have been dropped against Rosenberg Asst Police Chief Tracie Dunn after a grand jury indicted Dunn back in November 2015. Dunn was accused of kicking a handcuffed suspect while at the police station. Ft Bend Prosecutor Scott Carpenter claimed that charges were dropped after the victim refused to move forward in filing charges against Dunn. Of course it is not surprising that the victim didn’t want to press charges against the Asst Chief of Police in fear of retaliation. Fort Bend District Attorney John Healey confirmed that after the victim was located, she claimed in a recorded statement that she remembers nothing that took place after the arrest, and wants nothing more to do with the matter. What is more disturbing is that there was plenty of evidence which to charges and prosecute Dunn. In cases of domestic violence, an individual can file charges on their partner for physical abuse. If the victim chooses to change their mind at a later date and attempt to drop charges, the State will continue to move forward with those charges whether the victim drops the charges or not. Interestingly enough, the Ft Bend DA’s office didn’t deem it necessary to go after a top cop for physical violence although there is enough evidence to prosecute Tracie Dunn. Biased much?
These two cases is a clear indication of the hypocrisy by the Ft Bend DA’s office. How the DA will carry favor with the Asst Chief of Police who was allowed to get away with violently acting towards a handcuffed inmate. Nonetheless, a black teen who had no idea that he was using a counterfeit bill for his lunch that one day in November, is facing felony charges resulting in a case so weak due to lack of evidence. What we’re seeing is corruption, profiling, and now what seems to be a plan of school to prison pipeline initiated by an individual planting these counterfeit bills in Ft Bend County schools. Instead of the DA and Ft Bend police investigating where these bills are coming from and who is planting these bills, they worry about freeing a violent and oppressive cop who in her position, knows better than to act in that manner. The fact that the police and DA are not interested in finding the responsible parties concerning the fake money, is raising some eyebrows. When you have at least 6 incidents in Ft Bend County which is targeting black youth, that should be a red flag that something is going on and rather than to victimize another black male or female, police should be doing their job to find the responsible party. Or could it be that this is an operation led by police intended to further criminalize black lives? Anything is possible when there is great money to be made by mass incarceration, especially when blacks make up the largest population in the jail and prison system. Obviously this is a weigh in of opinion but when we begin to see black youth targeted over 6 times, each leading to Ft Bend police sending files to the Ft Bend DA’s office to charge these black youths, there is something very wrong here. As silly as my given opinion sounds, the entire case against Alec Hunter is even more silly. It should infuriate tax payers that money is being wasted on a child in this magnitude when the money could be well spent elsewhere.
On May 23rd, 1:30 p.m. we are joining the family of Alec Hunter at the Ft Bend County Courthouse at 1422 Eugene Heimann Circle, Richmond, TX. We want to lend our support to Alec and his family while raising awareness that wrongly criminalizing our black youth will not be tolerated. The DA’s office should be focusing their efforts on others who are true criminals like Tracie Dunn. If the DA can drop charges against an officer who acted violently against a handcuffed female, an incident that’s surely to be repeated in time to come, then the DA could drop the charges against a black teen who has his whole future ahead of him. This young man doesn’t deserve this kind of treatment and the DA along with police only seem to take interest in the charges because he’s black. The Ft Bend County counterfeit statistics to date do not lie. If you’re interested in attending the rally for the Hunter family, please see below:
***UPDATE AS OF 10:30 P.M. 5/16/2016: According the ABC13 Houston News, Monday night, board trustees asked if there is space to interject discretion by school administrators before police are called.
Fort Bend Superintendent Charles Dupre previously shot that idea down suggesting police are the experts not school staff.
Police Chief Rider on Monday told school board trustees, “We do not enjoy referring students to the district attorney when they break the law. Arrest is a last resort.”
Tuesday’s meeting was called according to Superintendent Dupre, because “the story has not been told completely.”
Rider claimed abc13’s investigation was inaccurate. We stand by our reporting.
Rider told the board, his department invested 30 cases of forgery since 2013. Of those, seven were forwarded to the district attorney. In some, a suspect is never identified. However whenever a suspect is, police reports identify the suspects as African American or Hispanic. Fort Bend ISD is not unique in that. No white students were identified as suspects in the police reports turned over to abc13 by three Houston-area school police departments (Fort Bend, Houston and Cy-Fair). Demanding a racial breakdown on the forgery suspects Fort Bend ISD School Trustee Addie Heyliger asked Chief Rider, “How or when do we engage the police? Is there an opportunity to stop it before the (police) get involved?”
Chief Rider responded, “From our end of it, the skin color has nothing to do with it.”
Rider acknowledged all seven of the suspects were students of color, but said policy matters are not his decision, “Just as police officers do not get involved in (educational issues), educators do not get involved in police matters.”