OAKLAND, Calif. – Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price doubled down on a controversial statement released by her office earlier this week, comparing the backers of a new campaign to recall her from office, with those behind the Jan. 6 insurrection at the US Capitol. Price made the comments during part of a sit-down interview with KTVU reflecting on her first six months in office.
“These are election deniers,” said Price. “We had an election. We won the election by an overwhelming majority. It wasn’t a small close election and so the people who lost, they lost, and when you lose an election you shouldn’t be able to overturn the will of the voters. That’s what happened during the insurrection on Jan. 6.”
Among those tied to the recall effort is Oakland’s Chinatown community advocate, Carl Chan, who is listed as the treasurer of “Save Alameda for Everyone.” Last month, Chan spoke out against Price’s handling of a case involving two men accused of killing toddler Jasper Wu during a shooting on Interstate 880. Price opted to remove a special circumstances charge from the case, which means the accused will no longer face the possibility of life without parole or the death sentence.
“By not sending a strong message, we are almost saying it’s okay to commit crime because there are no serious consequences,” said Chan last month.
Price addressed the decision in the Wu case on Sunday.
“For the folks who have lost loved ones in this community, both the family of Jasper Wu as well as the family of anyone who has lost a loved one. We take that very seriously, and I’m very compassionate for the victims. The the amount of grief and pain that one experiences when you lose a loved one is not anything that I would wish for anybody,” said Price. “We have to follow the law. The legislature has been very clear around the use of enhancements in special circumstances and how a district attorney’s office is expected to apply to those.”
Price’s position is in line with her campaign promise to implement progressive policies centered around restorative justice. But critics, including Barry Donelan of the Oakland Police Officers’ Association, have argued that those policies have made their work more challenging in a city that has seen a 14% increase in robberies since last year.
In a recent statement, Donelan said: “They are exasperating and already have very challenging crime situations [sic] that the residents in Oakland are facing…We bring the perpetrator to justice, we need the other part of the criminal justice department, the district attorney’s office to advocate for the very victims we are trying to protect.”
Some of that criticism was centered around Price’s handling of repeat offenders. Price says it’s an issue that her team has been actively working to address through improvements in technology and coordinated case management efforts.