Chanting ‘recall Price,’ protesters rallied against Alameda County’s district attorney

OAKLAND — Calling for a recall and chanting “do your job,” scores of people rallied against District Attorney Pamela Price on Monday outside the Alameda County Superior Courthouse, urging the county’s top prosecutor to end a series of controversial reforms and avoid cutting a plea deal with the men accused of killing a toddler during a freeway shootout.

The crowd of protesters — including one of Price’s own prosecutors — tore into the new district attorney and her decisions over the past three months to suspend several veteran prosecutors and scale back the use of sentencing enhancements in murder and gang-related cases. They also plead with Price to avoid similar moves with the men accused of killing Jasper Wu, who was weeks from his second birthday in November 2021 when a bullet from a freeway gun battle ripped into his mother’s vehicle on Interstate 880, killing him instantly.

Holding signs reading “Justice for Jasper,” the protesters chanted “recall Price” after she released a video days ago stating that “we have not made any decisions about what charges to pursue, or not to pursue” in the case.

The three men arrested in the killing — Johnny Jackson of Richmond; Trevor Green of Richmond; and Ivory Bivins of Vallejo — were arrested in late 2022, during the final weeks of former District Attorney Nancy O’Malley’s administration. they were initially charged with special circumstances of murder, making them eligible for sentences of life without paroleif convicted.

Last week, Price cast doubt on whether those charges would remain, while also vowing that the men would be “held accountable.”

“What I saw in that video shocked me — it outraged me,” said Bob Yee, who helped organize the event, along with the National Asian Pacific Islander Prosecutors Association. “How do you ensure safe streets without safe guards?”

Jasper’s mother called for each suspect in her boy’s death to be “justly and severely” punished with the “maximum sentencing available under the law,” according to a text message from the boy’s mother that was read during the rally by Stewart Chen, president of the Oakland Chinatown Improvement Council.

“I’m very sad and angry,” said the mother’s text, as read by Chen. “What happened to Jasper was not fair. And we want justice for our son.” She added: “I am extremely worried about Jasper’s case and the direction it might go.”

Community members take part in a rally in front of the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse on Monday, April 10, 2023, in Oakland, Calif.  The rally was held in part due to Alameda County's new district attorney Pamela Price's handling of the death of Jasper Wu, a two-year-old shot and killed on an Oakland freeway in 2021. (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group)
Community members take part in a rally in front of the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse on Monday, April 10, 2023, in Oakland, Calif. The rally was held in part due to Alameda County’s new district attorney Pamela Price’s handling of the death of Jasper Wu, a two-year-old shot and killed on an Oakland freeway in 2021. (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group)

The protest marked the largest sign of discontent with Price since she took office in January. It comes less than a week after she defended her handling of an unusual plea deal in the case of Delonzo Logwood, whose 15-year plea deal in three murder cases was thrown out by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Mark McCannon for being too lenient. Price has since moved to disqualify McCannon from any cases filed by her office.

The relatives of multiple other murder cases currently being handled by Price’s office also spoke against the new district attorney, including the wife of a former San Jose police officer who was gunned down while working as a security guard for a news crew in downtown Oakland.

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