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Alameda County DA Price faces criticism from Oakland residents at community forum

Alameda County DA Price answers questions at community forum about crime
Alameda County DA Price answers questions at community forum about crime 03:14

Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price attended a community forum to address crime concerns on Tuesday.

"Anybody who tells you that the people who work at the Alameda County District Attorney's Office do not care about your community, my community, any part of this community, they are lying," said Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price.

Price came into the game playing defense as she faced questions from business owners and community leaders in Oakland Chinatown.

"There are people in this building upstairs, living upstairs who're living in chronic fear and almost a sense of hopelessness that things would change. My first question is what do you say to people in the community that feel that way? They're literally just floors away from you," said a member of the audience.

"For those folks that are feeling very fearful and full of anxiety, what I can say is we've got to hold on as a community. Things are going to get better," said Price.

The DA has faced pushback before. Sometimes from residents who say crime has made living in Oakland almost impossible and others who say it's bad for business.

"What I heard from her is she has her hands tied," said Josephine Hui, an Oakland business owner.

Hui has owned a business in Oakland for over 35 years. She told KPIX she came to the forum because she's concerned about crime in Chinatown.

"Her office should make all announcements of what she intends to do. And also the way that she intended to do, the community did not know about it and there is a lot of rumors that accuse her," said Hui.

Price, who is facing a recall from opponents who say she's soft on crime, pushed back against what she called a slurry of rumors and misinformation put out by people with political agendas.

"I think that it's shameful the way that people have exploited our fears about crime — our natural fears about crime. Have exploited people's grief for political purposes," said Price.

Price wouldn't say what specific misinformation and rumors she was talking about, but she said her office takes crime seriously and prosecutes criminals every day.

And while the media were allowed to ask her questions, which hasn't always been the case, the media were limited to a total of three.

KPIX reporter Kelsi Thorud asked her what she would say to people who have lost faith in her office.

"Unfortunately until we get through March 1st or March 5th and these folks have to actually turn in their signatures, you're going to hear a lot of misinformation. And we just have to weather this storm and get through it, and my hope is that after March 5th when people have had their opportunity to try to overturn the election that then we can bring the community together," said DA Price.

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