As reported by Mercury News, the move from Gov. Newsom to bolster the prosecutorial force in Alameda County followed just days after an order to deploy 120 Highway Patrol officers to confront an overwhelming number of "serious and complex crimes" that have erupted in the area.
While Newsom's office was mum about many specifics such as precisely how many attorneys are being deputized into the Alameda DA's Office, he told reporters the move was to increase the capacity of Price's office to prosecute "violent crimes, serious drug-related crimes and property crimes."
“An arrest isn’t enough," Newsom said in the announcement. "Justice demands that suspects are appropriately prosecuted. Whether it’s ‘bipping’ or carjacking, attempted murder or fentanyl trafficking, individuals must be held accountable for their crimes using the full and appropriate weight of the law.”
Attorney General Bonta added, “The East Bay is my home, and I’m committed to ensuring that the people of Oakland can live and work in a safe community. The California Department of Justice has legal and law enforcement expertise to bring to bear as we work collaboratively to hold bad actors accountable. I welcome this partnership with local and state law enforcement, the Governor’s Office, and most importantly, the Oakland community, to ensure that justice is done so that Oakland residents can thrive and prosper.”
Price responded to the move in the announcement saying, "I welcome the support from the Governor in this fight against organized retail crime and the scourge of Fentanyl in our community. I am assigning Alameda County career prosecutor Assistant DA Michael Nieto to represent my office in this collaborative effort.''
Oaklandside.org reported on February 2 that the campaign to oust Price has already spent approximately $2.2 million since its launch six months ago and must acquire 73,195 signatures by mid-March to appear on the 2024 ballot.
Leaders of the effort, officially known as “Save Alameda For Everyone (SAFE): Recall DA Price," have criticized Price for failing to utilize "enhancements" or additional charges against suspect and for failing to charge juveniles as adults.
The DA's propensity to instead investigate law enforcement officers aggressively has also met with severe backlash and even several longtime Deputy DA's resigning from her office in disagreement with her political agenda according to the outlet.
As Law Enforcement Today previously reported, a leaked document from Price's office in March of 2023 stated that "almost all felonies, including those that are serious or violent, will now be probation eligible."
Price has responded to her constituents' mounting concerns by saying that her job has "no impact on crime." Earlier in the year, she fired Oakland's police chief, petitioned a judge to grant a seven-year sentence to a teen linked to three murders, and sought parole for gang members who killed a toddler in a high-profile case.
According to Zero Hedge, not long after taking office, Price hired her boyfriend, Antwon Cloird as a "senior program specialist" with a six-figure income. Residents say that Price's soft-on-crime antics as well as her controversial decisions are making things far worse for the community and costing innocent lives.