California DA Pamela Price blasted by outgoing prosecutors as soft on crime, 'disrespectful' to AAPI community


Two Alameda prosecutors have resigned over what they see as too much leniency in California District Attorney Pamela Price’s policies on crimes.

Danielle Hilton, a veteran prosecutor who has served in the Alameda County DA’s Office for 26 years, submitted her resignation letter on April 24, noting that she can no longer “ethically and adequately” carry out her duties under Price’s supervision.

Hilton asserted that Price’s agenda to change the office’s prosecutorial conventions and rely on probation for most crimes has led to “inequalities and disparate treatment.”

Victims deserve better. I am not leaving because I want to. In fact, I want nothing more than to be an African American woman continuing to serve the citizens of Alameda County in a fair, unbiased and professional manner…I have spent my career picking up the pieces and gathering the fragments of lives shattered by violence. I encourage you to look at crime scene and autopsy photos, meet the victims of the robberies, sexual assaults, home burglaries and other crimes within the county. It is their voices you were elected to empower.

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Price has been facing criticism for refusing sentencing enhancements to lower jail terms.

The DA faced backlash for planning not to pursue jail time for a trio of gang members who were arrested in connection with the death of Oakland toddler Jasper Wu.

Wu was driving home to Fremont with his family on Nov. 6, 2021, when a stray bullet pierced their car on Interstate 880. The bullet passed through their front windshield and hit the ​​23-month-old toddler in the forehead.

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Last week, Price also came under fire for declining to place criminal enhancements in a case involving another murdered child. Eliyanah Crisostomo, 5, was also shot dead by three gang members on a freeway in Fremont last month

Price’s decision was described as “an extreme departure from California criminal law practice” by Los Angeles County prosecutor Jason Lustig, according to The New York Post.

Last month, Price responded to the criticisms, arguing that she is being attacked because she is the county’s first Black DA.

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“If you are a Black person in Alameda County, you are 20 times more likely to be incarcerated than a White person,” she reportedly said. “Racial injustice in this county is what we all need to be firmly committed against.”

​​Price said she is being progressive by undoing the inequities in the county’s prosecutorial conventions.

On Monday, Rebecca Warren, another veteran prosecutor who has been with the office for over 17 years, also resigned as she “can no longer tolerate this mistreatment of the AAPI community by leaders” of Alameda County DA’s Office.

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Warren, who is of Chinese descent, accused Price of being “condescending and disrespectful to the AAPI community” in a letter regarding the death of Wu. Additionally, Warren stated that Price’s chief assistant made “racist comments” toward Samoans to another Asian American prosecutor.

“Not only is Alameda County made up of over 33% AAPI residents, the Alameda County District Attorney's Office employs members of the AAPI community, myself included. We deserve better,” Warren wrote in her resignation letter.

Your disrespectful treatment of, and attitude towards, the AAPI community comes in the wake of several years of trauma the AAPI community has experienced during the global Covid pandemic and an accompanying rise in anti-Asian hate incidents, harassment, and violence globally, nationally, and right here in Alameda County. Sadly, I don't see your rhetoric, nor your policies changing.