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Californians vote to recall an Alameda County district attorney

OAKLAND, Calif. (CBS, KYMA/KECY) - Pamela Price has been one of the most controversial figures in Bay Area politics this year.

She's only been the District Attorney (D.A.) of Alameda County for about seven months, but a group of voters is already trying to push her out.

Some of the people behind that effort have lost loved ones to violence, and say they feel like they are being victimized all over again.

"If anyone hasnt walked in the shoes of a mother that has lost a child from a senseless murder, they would never know how it feels," said Kassandra Riley, a Bay Area resident.

Riley knows loss, and grief, and pain. Her son Lamar was murdered in Alameda County earlier this year.

"Overprotective. Mama's boy. That was my twin. He loved his daughter," Riley shared.

Save Alameda for Everyone (SAFE)

The suspect was only 17 years old. Riley says, in spite of her wishes, Price did not charge him as an adult, and her frustration Is familiar to other victims' families. In fact, they describe it, in an eerily similar way.

"I saw my son shot, in front of me, on my porch, and my daughter was shot as well. If you’ve never been through that, you can’t tell us what goes on after you went through it and you have to go through it again when you think you have justice and you turn around and you walk in the store and see your son’s killer in the store, because you didn’t know that they were let out," said Brenda Grisham, co-founder of Save Alamedia for Everyone (SAFE).

On Tuesday, SAFE marched to the courthouse to file paperwork in order to start the process to recall Price. They were joined by other victims families.

Price ran on a platform emphasizing restorative justice policies, including reducing sentences for younger offenders, eliminating most sentencing enhancements, and holding law enforcement accountable. She explained her position in an interview last month.

"Anytime that we can divert someone from the criminal justice system, that is a goal because the criminal justice system has been shown to be racially biased," Price remarked.

Critics and supporters

Price's supporters insist reform will take time and claim the recall effort itself is racially-motivated. But Price's critics insist that this is not justice at all.

"It's not going to stop. Until we the people speak out….until we can get the justice that we feel the victims families deserve," Riley declared.

Price's office was reached out multiple times this week to hear what she had to say about the recall, but there was no response.

Article Topic Follows: California Politics

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