SAN FRNCISCO (KGO) — Amid a recall effort and accusations of being soft on crime, Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price sat down with ABC7 News to discuss her first months in office.
Anser Hassan: “How would you describe your experience so far? »
Pamela Prize: “It’s an adventure. It’s a big adventure. We entered a very unstable situation. I prepared myself for the change that was coming.”
What followed Price just nine months after taking office was criticism and backlash. But to her detractors, she reminds that she was elected during a criminal justice reform campaign.
RELATED: Alameda Co. DA Pamela Price takes on crime in Oakland during community forum
“If you go to Alameda County Juvenile Hall today, you’ll only find black and brown kids there. There are many reasons for that, but one of the challenges I faced, and that I believe I was elected to do as district attorney, is to eradicate racial disparities,” Price said.
She also highlights the more than 8,000 files handled by her office.
Price says she’s looked at the county’s billing practices, like eliminating improvements, which she says Alameda County voters also want.
“We invested in prisons rather than education in California. And we are seeing the results. The improvements have been shown to be racist and implemented in racist ways. And the improvements, nationally, as “We don’t see that longer sentences actually deter crime,” Price said. “What we see is that it increases the risk of reoffending.”
RELATED: 2 men officially charged in highway shooting death of toddler on I-880 in Oakland, DA says
She says she wants to make it clear that reducing enhancements or special circumstances, as in the Jasper Wu case, does not mean crimes go unpunished. Jasper Wu was a child who was killed by stray bullets on I-880, when two men allegedly shot at a rival gang member, according to Price. The family has raised concerns about Price’s sentencing.
“When the media said she dropped the special circumstances, that part was true. But what they didn’t say is that we never dropped the weapon or the upgrades to gangs. But the two men we believe are responsible for the shooting, one of “One is facing a sentence of 175 years to life. The other faces a sentence of 265 years to life,” Price said.
However, allegations that Price was soft on crime led to a recall effort. The group SAFE, or Save Alameda For Everyone, which is leading the recall effort, says on its website: “DA Price is failing in its responsibility to enforce the law, prosecute criminals and keep violent offenders away from our streets.”
Those who support recall worry about short-term penalties, lack of improvements and removal of special circumstances.
MORE: Oakland community seeks solutions to rising crime at safety meeting
Hassan: “Do you feel like you’re being targeted?”
Price: “I know I’m being targeted. Progressive prosecutors across the country have been targeted by right-wingers. We know those who lost the election didn’t want us here. We challenged and won the status quo. So yes, I am definitely a target.
Price’s office is currently reviewing 2,500 cases eligible for resentencing in Alameda County under California’s new racial justice law. The ACLU describes the law as prohibiting the state “from seeking or obtaining a criminal conviction, or imposing a sentence based on race, ethnicity, or national origin.”
“We’ve hired over 100 people, which in such a short period of time is unheard of in government, and certainly in Alameda County. I’m just proud of the work we’ve done here, without support, without transition, without plan, without “A soft landing. And yet we managed to thrive,” she says.
If you’re on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live