Alameda DA Sees New Controversies Ahead of Recall Election

Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price is facing a new round of criticism, just months before voters decide whether to boot her from office. 

Pamela Price — Cultural Appropriator? 

Price was supposed to hold a press conference last week to announce her new “Chinese name” in honor of AAPI heritage month. The announcement led to instant ridicule, with Price being accused of political pandering and “cultural appropriation” ahead of a high-stakes election. The mockery must have hit a nerve because Price abruptly canceled the presser on Tuesday. (In case you’re wondering, the name is 官善貞.)

For context, Price has had a rocky relationship with the AAPI community since taking office, and has been accused of “disrespecting” Asians with some of her past comments. Prominent Chinese-American leaders in Alameda are backing the recall effort against her. 

Price’s Office Accused of Letting Another Violent Criminal Off the Hook

In addition to the Chinese name brouhaha, Price’s office is under fire for declining to file charges against a repeat violent offender who stabbed a man in Hayward’s Meek Estate Park. The January attack left the victim’s intestines “protruding” from his body, authorities said.

The suspect, Robert Barroca, was known to park staff. He was seen carrying weapons on multiple occasions and had been linked to other incidents in the park. He has a long criminal history that includes attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, battery, criminal threats, and weapons and drug violations. At the time of the stabbing, he was on probation.

The DA’s office says they decided to hand the case over to federal authorities after careful review. The sheriff’s office says that’s not true, and that they are the ones who appealed to the feds to get Barroca off the streets after the DA declined to file charges. 

“We want to thank our partners at HARD, the U.S. Probation Office, and the U.S. Marshals Service for their efforts and assistance with this investigation and for taking Barroca off the streets of Alameda County,” the Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook. 

Commenters were irate.

“Pamela Price is a violent offender herself by refusing to protect our community over and over again,” one person wrote. “RECALL PAMELA PRICE!”

“Thank you Alameda County Sheriff's Office for not giving up and pursuing additional avenues to remove this individual from our community,” another person said.  “This next election we'll try to correct a previous mistake so you can do your job protecting us the way it was intended.”

Recall Ahead 

Save Alameda For Everyone (SAFE) is leading the recall campaign against Price. The group blames her progressive criminal justice reforms for eroding public safety. Price has also been accused of nepotism for hiring her boyfriend to work in the DA’s office.

The DA has called the recall campaign “un-democratic” and says organizers failed to file a 3rd quarter report disclosing their contributors. The California Fair Political Practices Commission is investigating the complaint.

Voters will have the final say on November 5.