DA Pamela Price responds to critics that include the sheriff

Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price announces charges against three Alameda police officers for the in-custody death of Mario Gonzalez. 

Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price on Tuesday addressed criticism and perceived criticism leveled at her over the past couple of weeks by supporters of an effort to remove her from office, as well as from Sheriff Yesenia Sanchez.

At a news conference in her Oakland office, Price talked about a May 30 social media post from the Sheriff's Office detailing the alleged crimes of Robert Barroca, 59, who is accused of a January knife attack at a Hayward park that left a victim with serious wounds, including protruding intestines. 

The post mentions that Barroca is a convicted felon and was on probation at the time of the alleged attack and that Price's office declined to file charges in the case.

Price said prosecutors work with sheriff's investigators when making charging decisions in criminal cases and that sometimes a decision not to file local charges can lead to greater consequences when there is a lack of a "sentencing advantage," meaning the suspect will face at least equal, maybe greater, consequences for a conviction in another jurisdiction like federal court or another county. 

She said that so far in 2024, 265 of the 535 cases the Sheriff's Office has forwarded for charges have been rejected, 83 due to lack of a sentencing advantage, while others were set aside for lack of evidence or "insufficient collaboration," among other things.

Only 30 of the rejected cases were alleged felonies while the rest were for misdemeanor crimes, Price said.

In the Barroca case, the Sheriff's Office said he was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service on suspicion of a federal probation violation and seems likely to face charges from federal prosecutors.  

Price said she has asked to meet with Sanchez to review the charging data. 

"I will be sharing this data with her and her team, and we will take a closer look to see what it is that we can do to help them to be able to present the information that my deputies need to charge," Price said.

Also on Tuesday, Price rejected calls from the group Save Alameda For Everyone to fire Desmond Jeffries, director of recruitment and retention in her office.

SAFE said Jeffries showed up to their rally Saturday to join a counter-rally and, along with other Price supporters, got into a verbal altercation with SAFE members, some of whom are murder victims' relatives. 

In a letter to Price and the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, SAFE leaders said they want Jeffries fired and noted that he "referred to (pro-recall leader) Brenda Grishim (sic) as Brenda Gruesome" and "said that the victim families were a violent gang," among other things. 

"I want to say with respect to that request that we don't fire people for exercising their First Amendment rights," Price said.