Press Releases

Bill to Compel Gun Industry to Adopt New Safety Features Advances Jul 31, 2020

Legislation would strengthen Unsafe Handgun Act, making way for microstamping technology and new safety features

Sacramento, CA—Legislation sponsored by District Attorney Nancy O’Malley and authored by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) aiming to reduce gun fatalities by requiring the gun industry to produce handguns with greater safety features passed the Senate Public Safety Committee today. Assembly Bill 2847 would strengthen the Unsafe Handgun Act (UHA) and open up the use of microstamping technology in order to solve firearm-related crimes. The bill is cosponsored by the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence.

“This law will have a direct and lasting effect in the fight to end gun violence. California’s cities and neighborhoods are plagued by shootings and AB 2847 provides a smart and realistic tool to identify firearms and prosecute gun crimes. The unique microstamp on each handgun will allow law enforcement and district attorneys to identify criminals and hold them accountable. It is imperative that we do all we can to stop the seemingly endless horror of gun violence in our state,” says DA O’Malley. “I thank Assemblymember Chiu for authoring this legislation as well as our cosponsors, the Brady Campaign.”

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Charges Filed Against Alameda County Sherriff’s Office Technician and Santa Rita Jail Inmate Jul 29, 2020

The two are alleged to have worked together to bring cell phone and drugs into the jail

The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office today filed multiple felony counts against ACSO Technician Shannon Taylor and Leonard Jones, an inmate at Santa Rita Jail. The criminal complaint stems from an extensive investigation revealing that defendant Taylor, on multiple occasions illegally brought a cell phone and methamphetamine into the jail and furnished it to defendant Jones. It is alleged that the two were working together- she furnishing the methamphetamine for him to sell in the jail and sharing in the proceeds of the sales.

“Shannon Taylor’s actions not only violate the law, but also the trust the public places in those working withing the justice system,” says District Attorney O’Malley. “My Office will ensure that both defendants are held to account. They not only broke the law, but also put the health and safety of inmates and staff at the jail at risk. It is deeply troubling that an employee of the Sheriff’s Office engaged in this degree of criminal conduct, and I commend the excellent investigation that uncovered the crimes.”

Leonard Jones is in custody awaiting trial on murder charges and is expected to be arraigned on this new case on July 31, 2020. Shannon Taylor was arrested on June 17, 2020. She is out of custody and expected to be arraigned on August 14, 2020.

A copy of the criminal complaint as well as the declarations of probable cause are attached here.

Misd. Sexual Assault Charges Filed Against Varghese Alengadan Jul 17, 2020

After an investigation by the Alameda Police Department, the District Attorney’s Office has filed one count of sexual battery against Varghese Alengadan, also known as Father George, a former priest at St. Joseph Basilica in the City of Alameda. The crime took place in July of 2019, and the victim is an adult.

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A Message From DA O’Malley on Juneteenth Jun 19, 2020

Today is Juneteenth. This day, June 19, is the annual observation of the end of slavery in the United States in 1865. It is called the second Independence Day in America and is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Juneteenth marks the day on which news of emancipation of those held in slavery reached people in the deepest parts of the former Confederacy in Galveston, Texas, nearly two years after the Civil War. That day confirmed freedom for the last remaining slaves in the deepest parts of the South.

The recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Rayshard Brooks have shined a devastating light on the systemic inequitable treatment of African Americans in our country. For far too many, this is the reality of their lives. But, that reality can no longer be experiences separate from all of us. There is a critical need for structural and systemic improvements within the American justice system. Our office, and each of us with the privilege of working here, share the responsibility of working to eradicate racism, inequities and inequalities against African Americans. We have the duty to ensure that equal protection for all is guaranteed in each interaction with the system.

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Lyft and Alameda DA’s Office Partner to Provide Free Rides to and from Family Justice Center Jun 15, 2020

The District Attorney’s Office and Lyft have teamed up to provide access to transportation for victims and survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking, elder abuse, and sexual assault with rides to and from the Family Justice Center. The transportation network company will provide access to free rides to those in need of transportation to and from the Center where they will receive vital help and resources.

“We are extremely grateful to Lyft. It takes a company with compassion and a vision to make available this type of community service,” says DA O’Malley. “The services provided at the Family Justice Center are life-changing for many of the victims and survivors who we work with. Access is key, and this partnership will ensure that anyone who needs us has a secure mode of transportation to and from the Center.”

“We want to fill mobility needs for those who need it most and we thank District Attorney O'Malley for her leadership in finding ways to help survivors of intimate partner and sexual violence get to secure locations, like the Alameda County Family Justice Center” said Traci Lee, Senior Public Policy Manager, Lyft. “By working together with leaders like DA O'Malley, we can continue to activate LyftUp and provide transportation access to those who need it.”

The Alameda County Family Justice Center is made up of over 30 onsite and over 50 offsite agencies and programs that provide services and support to individuals and families who have experienced domestic violence, sexual assault and exploitation, child abuse, elder and dependent adult abuse, and stalking. It is located at 470 27th Street in Oakland.

In order to access the ride from Lyft:

Call 510 267-8800 to reach a navigator at the Family Justice Center. The navigators have the codes from Lyft and will either make the code available or arrange for the ride.

CarMax Settles Environmental Protection Lawsuit Brought on by CA District Attorneys Jun 11, 2020

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley announced today that her office, along with 16 other District Attorney’s Offices in California, settled an environmental protection action against CarMax Auto Superstores California, LLC. The settlement was based on the unlawful handling and disposal of various hazardous materials and hazardous wastes. The action was filed in Orange County Superior Court.

There are two CarMax facilities in Alameda County- one in Fremont and one in Pleasanton. The Alameda County DA’s Office conducted waste inspections at both locations and uncovered systemic violations of the management and disposal of hazardous waste items and confidential customer information.

“Today’s settlement is a win for the environment,” states DA O’Malley. “I want to make it very clear to any business operating in Alameda County and the state of California: there is no excuse for improper disposal of hazardous waste. You put us all at risk when you pollute our soil and our waterways. The state as well as local district attorneys will continue to work together to investigate and bring to justice businesses that ignore our important environmental protection laws.”

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DA O’MALLEY ISSUES STATEMENT ON KILLING OF GEORGE FLOYD AND ENSUING PROTESTS May 31, 2020

Mr. George Floyd, an unarmed, handcuffed African American man, was mercilessly and brutally killed by Derek Chauvin, a white police officer. It is hard to understand why Chauvin was employed by the Minneapolis Police Department, as it has been revealed that he had at least 18 prior incidents of misconduct known to the Department leaders. Only after the senseless killing of Mr. Floyd did the Chief of Police fire Chauvin.

On behalf of and with the members of my Office, I extend our deepest condolences to Mr. Floyd’s family, friends and his community. We join those who raise their voices against police brutality, racism and inequity.

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DA O’Malley Makes Statement Re: Safe Reopening of Businesses, Including Tesla May 14, 2020

During this unprecedented period of time, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office has been and continues to support the Alameda County Public Health Department and local police agencies in ensuring compliance with shelter in place orders. Those orders are intended to protect the health and safety of all members of our community. The Health Department has been working with businesses, including Tesla, to ensure that they can reopen safely consistent with the current orders and the best available science. We will continue to support the Health Department in its efforts and will offer any assistance that may be required. Any and all complaints are being directed to the Alameda County District Attorney Consumer Protection Division. Each and every complaint received will be followed up.

“We applaud all members of the community, especially local businesses, for abiding by the Health Officer’s orders, and look forward to the gradual and safe reopening of business” stated Nancy O’Malley, Alameda County District Attorney.

How and Where to Get Help About COVID-19 Concerns for Residents in Skilled Nursing Facilities May 11, 2020

Many residents of skilled nursing facilities (“SNFs”), like many of their families and friends, are concerned with the spread of COVID-19 and the impact it has had on those facilities. The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office and the Alameda County Public Health Department recognize that these are unprecedented times and that this novel coronavirus is of serious concern for those with loved ones living in these facilities.

The DA’s Office created a guide in hopes of providing useful and direct information, contacts and resources that may aid in addressing such concerns. Included are key points of contact for concerns and/or grievances, as well as resources for residents and their families.

View/download the resource guide here

Note: Information is current as of May 7, 2020 and any changes will be updated.

DA O’Malley and Atty Gen. Becerra Announce Price Gouging Charges Against Grocery Store Owner May 7, 2020

On May 7, Alameda County DA O’Malley and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced that their offices have jointly filed a nine-count misdemeanor complaint charging Apna Bazar, a large grocery store in Pleasanton, and Rajvinder Singh, the store’s owner, with price gouging. This prosecution marks the first ever price gouging action in Alameda County.

Customers began voicing complaints about the increase in prices of food items at the Pleasanton store shortly after the state of emergency was declared in California. A chorus of complaints from shoppers reached the DA’s Office through phone calls, e-mails and postings on social media platforms.

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