District Attorney Pamela Price was elected on a reformist agenda, a referendum against the status quo of past DA administration and their policies. Two-thirds of people incarcerated in Santa Rita Jail are BIPOC: 50% are Black in a county that is 10% Black. Alameda County also has the highest numbers of 5150’s in the entire state.
These are the real crises, and the reasons why DA Price was elected. However, pro mass incarceration agitators, well-funded and connected to police unions and associations, are following the blueprints that ousted San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin. Recent media attacks on DA Price are directly targeting promised reforms, working against the people’s will to transform the prosecutor’s office’s historic role in driving mass incarceration and allowing the epidemic of police violence to go unchecked. These agitators and their allies in the media have exploited recent tragedies to drive their agenda and move us away from implementing the necessary solutions. These same reporters did little to nothing to speak up when police terrorized black and brown communities, republished police press releases and talking points without investigation posing OPD messaging as credible, vetted and impartial news, acting as a propaganda mouthpiece for the police.
As communities most impacted by violence and incarceration, we deeply feel the pain of losing loved ones and extend our deepest sympathies to the families of these recent tragedies. All stakeholders should be working hard to provide the victim’s families with the services and support they need and work to prevent tragedies like these from happening again to other families.
We, on the Alameda County DA Accountability Table (ACDA Table), are a coalition of local community-based organizations committed to ending mass incarceration, eliminating racism from the criminal legal system, and police accountability, will continue to meet with District Attorney Price and her office to accomplish our joint objectives of expanding victim services, ending mass incarceration and racism within the criminal legal system, and ensuring police are held accountable for their crimes.
The ACDA Table continues to vow to urgently engage for progress and hold DA Price’s administration accountable to promises made during the administration’s campaign. We commend the office’s first steps in the right direction to transforming the DA’s office. These steps include the release of the Interim Final Special Directive 23-01 and the reopening of cases involving police killings. The Interim Final Special Directive 23-01 “reduces reliance on sentencing enhancements and allegations as an effort to bring balance back to sentencing and reduce recidivism” and states that “Exceptions may be allowed on a case-by-case basis in cases involving the most vulnerable victims and in specified extraordinary circumstances.” This is not, as the news media has sensationally and inaccurately purported, an ending of enhancement policies.
Additionally, Price’s administration has reopened 8 cases with police killings for review. This is a vital step in holding police accountable for extrajudicial killings that have come to define police presence in our communities. We know there is not true justice to bring back the lives stolen at the hands of police and although simply reopening the cases are not enough, we feel this is a step in the right direction to help families receive a piece of justice. There are countless other families who deserve the same opportunity to have their cases reopened as well.
We intend to continue working for progress with fierce urgency on DA Price’s 10-point platform on which she campaigned, including urging Price’s Office to:
- End youth criminalization and transfers to the adult court system.
- Decline to charge low-level misdemeanors and felonies
- Increase and prioritize the use of diversion programs.
- End the use of sentencing enhancements.
- Commit to review all requests for resentencing.
- Take immigration consequences into consideration in reviewing cases.
- Hold police officers accountable for illegal conduct.
In Solidarity with our Neighbors,
The Alameda DA Accountability Table:
American Civil Liberties Union, Northern CA
Anti Police-Terror Project
Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ)
East Bay Community Law Center
Ella Baker Center
Justice Reinvestment Coalition
Urban Peace Movement