OAKLAND, CA — Following through on promises made during the election cycle, Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Y. Price formally announces the creation of the Public Accountability Unit.
The unit is tasked with holding law enforcement and public officials accountable for misconduct. The unit will be housed under a Civil Rights Bureau which oversees the newly-formed Public Accountability Unit (PAU) as well as Brady compliance and cases reviewed under the Racial Justice Act.
Today, as part of the PAU’s review and investigations, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office has asked several local police chiefs and Alameda County Sheriff Yesenia Sanchez to return evidence for eight officer-involved shootings and in-custody deaths, with the intention of reopening the cases for further review to determine whether charges should be filed or not.
“We have seen many thoughts and prayers being bandied about the police murder of Tyre Nichols in Memphis, Tennessee. The people of Tennessee want accountability – and so do the people of Alameda County,” stated DA Price. “I promised accountability. This unit and its work are the start of the reckoning Alameda County has asked for holding people accountable for their misconduct.”
Three of the six officer-involved shooting cases were recently reviewed by the office, under the direction of former District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, with findings in December 2022 that no criminal charges were justified.
“These reports were released at the 11th hour, just weeks before I took office. As the top prosecutor, I want to give each case a thorough review to ensure justice has not been forgotten,” DA Price said. “I’ve made sure that my Office has attempted to reached out to each of the families of the deceased. The healing process cannot begin until we do our due diligence.”
“Madam DA has heard the voices of the community when she was elected to this office and has put her vision for police accountability into action,” said Senior Assistant District Attorney Kwixuan Maloof, head of the Public Accountability Unit and lead attorney of the Civil Rights Bureau. “A reopening of these cases does not guarantee charges will be filed, but will give this office and my team time for a thoughtful review and to leave no stone left unturned.”
The following officer-involved shooting cases will be reviewed:
Cody Chavez involving Pleasanton Police in 2022; Caleb Smith involving Hayward Police in 2021; Joshua Gloria involving Fremont Police in 2021, Agustin Gonsalez involving Hayward Police in 2019 Mack Jody Woodfox involving the Oakland Police in 2008 and Andrew Moppin-Buckskin involving the Oakland Police in 2007.
The deaths of Mario Gonzalez, who died in custody of the Alameda Police Department in 2021, and Vinetta Martin, who died at Santa Rita Jail in 2021, will also be reopened.
Each involved police agency and the sheriff’s office has been asked to return evidence to the district attorney’s office in the affected cases.
Due to the age of some of the cases, the statute of limitations may have run out for certain charges. For example, for involuntary manslaughter (Penal Code 192) the prosecution only has three years to prosecute. Murder (Penal Code 187) does not have limitations.
A note to media: The office will not be making any further comments as these are now pending investigations.
Contact: Public Information Officer Angela Ruggiero firstname.lastname@example.org // (510) 919-0081