Alameda Co. DA Pamela Price tackles crime in Oakland at community forum

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Sunday, August 27, 2023
Alameda Co. DA Price tackles crime in Oakland at community forum
Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price was joined by officials to discuss crime and prevention in Oakland.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price was joined by officials to discuss crime and prevention in Oakland.

"I am not only the first Black woman to sit in this seat. I am the first foster kid to sit in this seat," said D.A. Price to a round of applause, as she sat center stage at the event.

It was another in a series of community forums, this time focused specifically on public safety in Oakland. She was joined by two others: a representative from Mayor Sheng Thao's office, Chief of Education and Community Safety Brooklyn Williams, and Lieutenant Erin Mausz with the Oakland Police Department.

"We do know that gang and group shootings still represent the majority of the crime in the city of Oakland," Mausz said.

RELATED: 'A hard moment in time': Mayor Thao responds to spike in Oakland crime

Rising crime and how to deal with it was one of the big topics. Price spent time explaining how her office is responding and the reforms that she was elected to implement.

"We've charged over 7,600 cases, including murder and serious violent felonies," Price told the crowd during part of her presentation.

And then came the questions from the audience. One woman asked about the issue of enhancements.

Price responded by saying that enhancements don't deter crime and are racially biased.

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"And number three, because they require longer sentences, they force us to invest in prisons," Price said. "Enhancements have been at the heart of incarceration. It is absolutely essential that we stop using them."

Most understand that Price is new to the office and that her efforts will take time. But some are still convinced that this approach won't work.

When asked if he was satisfied with what he heard at the community forum, Oakland resident Julian Heard responded: "No, I wasn't!"

"If you are dealing with a person, (who) they deal with fear and intimidation, you can't meet them with compassion. You have to deal with them with fear and retaliation," he said.

MORE: Oakland police investigating several robberies at convenience, liquor stores across city

The discussion also focused on improving educational opportunities and providing better-paying jobs for young people -- both of which can serve as deterrents to crime.

Rachael Grissom, who has lived in Oakland for the past 15 years, says she hopes all the changes being discussed will start to show in the future.

"It was important just so that there is no speculation, so that D.A. Price could hear directly from the members of this community, how we feel what's happening with Oakland," Grissom said.

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