November 8, 2023

Oakland – Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price held a press conference to announce that the investigation into the death of Maurice Monk, who was found dead in his Santa Rita Jail cell on November 15, 2021, will be moving forward now with the cooperation of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.

“Last night, Sheriff Yesenia Sanchez agreed in writing to provide my office with the information that we have been seeking by November 17, 2023,” stated District Attorney Pamela Price.”

Maurice Monk was arrested on October 11, 2021. He was accused of disorderly conduct and refusing to exit an AC Transit Bus. He was sent to Santa Rita after failing to appear on a bench warrant for another misdemeanor incident on an AC Transit bus. A month later, deputies found him unresponsive in his cell. Evidence suggests Mr. Monk may have been deceased for at least 72 hours.

Alameda County recently agreed to pay Mr. Monk’s relatives approximately $7 million dollars to settle their wrongful death case. Their civil lawsuit against Wellpath, the County’s medical provider, is still pending.

“Mr. Monk, I am told, had a mental illness – a diagnosis. He had medical issues. We all know that mental illness is not a crime, and it should not be a death sentence in Alameda County,” said District Attorney Price.

In attendance during the DA Price’s announcement were Mr. Monk’s daughter and his two sisters, members of the faith community, and concerned residents demanding a full investigation. The family and their attorney met with DA Price and her team before and after the press conference.


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The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office (DAO) is one of California’s largest prosecutors’ offices and is led by Alameda County’s first Black woman District Attorney Pamela Y. Price. Price brings her vision to this office to fairly administer justice in the pursuit of thriving, healthy, and safe communities for every person who steps foot in Alameda County, no matter their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, income, or zip code. Price has been recognized as one of the most progressive prosecutors through her forward-thinking, innovative strategies to interrupt cycles of violence and crime and bring change to a criminal justice system rooted in systemic racism. Follow Madam DA on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and @AlamedaCountyda on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.