Oakland civil rights attorney Pamela Price
says Alameda County D.A. Nancy O’Malley
did not protect victim of police sex crimes.
Unseating Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley might be the longest of longshots in the East Bay next year. But Oakland civil rights attorney Pamela Price believes a campaign advocating for police accountability, criminal justice reform, and her believe O’Malley has failed on both accounts is a winning message.
Price laid out her early platform for the June 2018 primary race on Thursday in an email to supporters. She also acknowledged the obstacles for defeating the deeply-entrenched O’Malley. “My friends’ first question is not why am I running for DA. The first question is ‘have you lost your mind?’ No, I have not lost my mind. I know who I am and I know why I’m running.”
It appears Pamela intends to use Oakland’s police sexual misconduct scandal as a hammer against O’Malley. Price briefly served as counsel for the under-aged victim in the scandal, known then as Celeste Guap, but later identified as Jasmine Abuslin.
|Alameda County D.A. Nancy O’Malley|
Referencing the report released this week that slammed the handling of the case by the city and police department on numerous occasions, Price says O’Malley also exhibited similar indifference to the victim. Price says O’Malley should have investigated possible witness tampering when Abuslin was curiously sent to Florida and later arrested.
“While our County’s female leaders did not come right out and blame the victim, no one acted like they gave a damn about Jasmine. It was as if her exploitation was not taken seriously. Ultimately, the DA left Jasmine to languish in a Florida jail for 17 days,” said Price. “The same bias that OPD exhibited was obvious in the DA’s response to Jasmine’s incarceration in Florida – they wrote her off.”
Price also contends O’Malley should have known about the notorious sex trafficking case since it also involved two investigators in her own office. “She says she was completely unaware of the ongoing investigation until she read about it in the newspaper. To me, that is a gross dereliction of duty on her part,” said Price. During O’Malley’s tenure as D.A., she has made prosecution of sex trafficking in Alameda County perhaps her top priority.
“’The New Jim Crow” is alive and well in Alameda County,” Price later declared. She asserts O’Malley’s office is relying too harshly on mass incarceration and felony arrests of African American youths is far higher than Caucasians. She states 93 percent of all arrested in Alameda County will be eventually prosecuted for some type of offense. “Since 2012, we have rejected that approach in Alameda County. We want to bring people home and rebuild families and restore our community. We want to end the horrendous racial divide that has infected our judicial system,” said Price.
A large part of O’Malley’s perceived electoral infallibility stems from the county’s systemic use of maintaining the status quo. Retiring elected officials often time their retirement just prior to re-election. Therefore, appointees are then given an advantage in the election by running as an semi-incumbent. O’Malley was appointed in this manner in 2009 when former District Attorney Tom Orloff unexpectedly retired just months before the primary. During both her re-election campaigns O’Malley has never faced a challenger.
The strategy was used last month with appointment of Alameda County Treasurer Henry Levy after long-time office holder Donald White announced his retirement after 30 years. Levy is set to run for the seat next June.