Alameda County DA responds to community crime concerns in another heated town hall

ByTim Johns KGO logo
Thursday, September 14, 2023
Alameda Co. DA responds to community concerns in heated town hall
Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price held another heated town hall in Fremont Wednesday in hundreds in attendance.

FREMONT, Calif. (KGO) -- About 100 people packed the Niles Discovery Church in Fremont Wednesday. Over 300 more were on Zoom. The reason was a chance to talk with Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price.

"I believe in reform. I don't believe in letting murderers out on close to no charges. So there has to be punishment before you have reform," said Patricia Harris.

Harris was one of those in attendance. At a recall Price rally ahead of the meeting, she told us she voted for the DA but now regrets it.

Harris says after her son was killed, she believes Price didn't prosecute his killer harshly enough.

VIDEO: Alameda Co. DA Pamela Price says she's being 'targeted' amid recall effort over progressive policies

Alameda County District Attorney Pamela says she's being targeted by groups who want to recall her for the progressive policies she was elected on.

"The person that did it was up on murder charges until Pamela Price took office. Reduced all the charges to involuntary. Took all the enhancements away," Harris said.

As with other town halls that Price has done in the past, there were several heated moments. Some people even got so frustrated that they stormed out of the event.

One of those who left was Laura Koski, who says she thinks Price avoided answering audience questions.

"I listened to her over and over again talking about how people in jail are so mistreated and we have to get them out, we're over incarcerating," Koski said.

Price, however, defended her record since taking office.

MORE: Alameda County DA Pamela Price fights 'backlash' to her administration at Oakland rally

Throughout the night, she spoke about the reforms she's brought to the DA's office.

She also hit back at claims she's soft on crime, and says she believes the amount of guns in the community plays a large part in the violence.

"We are in a unique, crazy time where everybody in this community has a gun. And so we're not going to be able to lock our way up out of this situation," said Price.

One particular point of contention was her view on charging enhancements.

Something many in the audience say they want to see more of.

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

But something the DA doesn't always agree with - and an issue Price campaigned on.

"The use of those enhancements has driven the explosion of prisons - has forced us to invest in prisons instead of education," Price said.

While Wednesday's town hall exposed certain rifts within the Alameda County community, one thing is still true.

Price remains committed to her platform of criminal justice reform.

"Our crime wave, if we consider it in Oakland, started long before my inauguration in January," said Price.

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