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Families of crime victims, supporters of Alameda County DA Pamela Price clash at recall campaign town hall

Supporters of recall against Alameda County DA Price speak out at latest town hall
Supporters of recall against Alameda County DA Price speak out at latest town hall 04:40

The campaign to recall Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price, also known as Save Alameda for Everyone (SAFE) held a town hall Monday evening at the Emeryville Senior Center to update residents on their efforts and answer questions from the audience regarding the process.

Many attendees were victims of crimes or family members of victims.

Berkeley resident Florence McCrary was emotional as she shared the story of her 22-year-old son Terrence McCrary Jr., who was killed by a stray bullet inside an Oakland art gallery on 15th Street in 2016. Florence said the intended target, Craig Fletcher-Cooks, was shot to death nearby.

The suspect, Otis Wyatt, was charged with both murders under the previous district attorney Nancy O'Malley in Alameda County.
But just last week, Price's office made a deal with the shooter for voluntary manslaughter for killing Fletcher-Cooks. The murder charge against McCrary's son was dropped altogether.

She said she was told by Price's office that the team didn't think they could win the case if it went to trial.

"We would expect more empathy and concern for mothers who have had to put their children in the ground at 22 years of age, an innocent victim," she told the crowd. "I'm a tax-paying citizen who works hard and why should I have to live with the fact that this person won't be held accountable for his choices."

McCrary shared her story before the crowd which included Price supporters, who at times interrupted as tensions rose.

The event comes after Price held a rally with her supporters over the weekend. She pushed back against criticism that she's soft on crime. She also called the recall campaign undemocratic.

"We know that this recall is not about public safety, we have their campaign plan, this campaign plan says that they are concerned with the value of their portfolios, real estate developers, there is nobody in here, there is nobody that comes through our office that is a real estate portfolio," she said.

Price referenced a fundraising booklet that said businesses have seen negative impacts to their property values as well as threats to the personal safety of their employees and families.

Recall campaign leader Brenda Grisham responded to the criticism on Monday. She also said the safety of all citizens is at stake.

"It clearly says it's a draft, that's number one, and it was 13 pages long but you went to page eight or nine and picked out one sentence," Grisham said.

"It's not politics, it's not about anything else, it's all about public safety," said SAFE principal officer Carl Chan. "If she can do her job and keep everybody safe, and performing as a DA, I don't think we need to come to this stage."

SAFE said it's collected more than 80,000 signatures in the last five weeks and needs 30,000 more. It plans to turn them in ahead of the March deadline and is targeting a special election in April.

McCrary was one of the first people to sign the recall petition.

"I did not vote for her so I can honestly say I was not a proponent and supporter of hers from the beginning," she said of Price. "The recall I think needs to occur so that we can have a different choice."

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