Oakland woman leading efforts to recall progressive DA Pamela Price slams prosecutor for showing up at her business with ‘ARMED GOONS’ as violent crime in city spikes 21 percent in one year

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Written By Maya Cantina

An Oakland, California, woman leading a recall effort against woke DA Pamela Price accused the official of intimidation tactics to try and curb her campaign. 

Brenda Grisham, an activist for homicide victims, claimed Price showed up at her business this week with ‘armed goons’, as her fight to remove the prosecutor from office has turned ugly. 

The prosecutor’s re-election campaign told DailyMail.com Price only walked past Grisham’s business as part of a ‘scheduled neighborhood walk’ as part of Human Trafficking Awareness Month.  

Price became Alameda County DA in 2022, pledging to seek shorter prison sentences, more lenient criminal charges, and a refusal to charge juveniles as adults – policies Grisham says are escalating Oakland’s spiraling crime issues. 

The city has been rocked by a citywide crimewave for over two years, with homicides up 80 percent in July 2023 compared to 2019 rates, while assaults and robberies were up 40 and 20 percent, respectively. 

According to crime tracker Neighborhood Scout, Oakland is essentially the most dangerous city in America, with a violent crime rate almost four times higher than the national average that makes it safer than zero percent of US neighborhoods.   

Brenda Grisham, a homicide victim advocate leading a recall effort against Alameda County DA Pamela Price, says the official is using dirty tactics to intimidate her into ending her campaign

Alameda County DA Pamela Price entered office in 2022 as a 'progressive prosecutor', pledging to seek shorter prison sentences, more lenient criminal charges, and a refusal to charge juveniles as adults

Alameda County DA Pamela Price entered office in 2022 as a ‘progressive prosecutor’, pledging to seek shorter prison sentences, more lenient criminal charges, and a refusal to charge juveniles as adults

Since launching her recall effort in July, Grisham said she has been subject to a smear campaign that has seen her compared to January 6 insurrectionists, accused of spreading misinformation, and branded a racist. 

‘I’m African American, how is it racist?’ she told the Berkeley Scanner. ‘This is homegrown. This is from here. Right here in the city of Oakland.’ 

Last month the recall effort pushed past 80,000 signatures, exceeding the 73,000 needed to qualify for a recall by March. 

However, she says tensions with Price came months before her recall campaign even began, when she tried to set up a meeting for recent homicide victims in March. 

In a move that spurred her desire to remove Price from office, Grisham said the DA was uninterested, insisting she would ‘not speak to anybody that’s advocating for me to be removed from my elected position.’ 

‘That’s not what we’re talking about today, is what I told her,’ Grisham said. ‘We’re talking about the families of homicide victims that are working in the streets of Oakland trying to make a difference. That’s our job.’ 

Grisham, who lost a son to gun violence in 2010 and has advocated for victims since, said Price finally agreed to the meeting in April, only to show up 45 minutes late and allegedly refuse to answer questions from the families. 

‘She did not respond to the families that they were victims,’ Grisham said. ‘She never acknowledged that they had lost anyone.’ 

Price, Grisham says, turned to leave after declaring there were ‘people in the room that are opposing my position as the district attorney’, before a victim’s mother stopped her to ask about any developments in her son’s case. 

She claimed Price said she didn’t know anything about the case and walked out of the room. 

‘These are true victims,’ Grisham concluded. 

‘These families have been traumatized once. And they’re gonna be traumatized again – when sentencing does not match the crime of their children.’ 

Surveillance footage shared this week by Grisham purported to show Price arriving with 'armed goons' at her place of work, part of what she feels is an intimidation strategy

Surveillance footage shared this week by Grisham purported to show Price arriving with ‘armed goons’ at her place of work, part of what she feels is an intimidation strategy 

Grisham lost a son to gun violence in 2010 and has advocated for victims since

Grisham lost a son to gun violence in 2010 and has advocated for victims since 

Data shows the city's current crime epidemic - in which rates across nearly every major category have increased dramatically since well before the pandemic

Data shows the city’s current crime epidemic – in which rates across nearly every major category have increased dramatically since well before the pandemic 

In the months since, Grisham says her recall petition has gained traction and receives frequent inquiries from victims’ families wanting to join the cause. 

At one stage last July, Price slammed the campaign as being ‘supported by the Republican Party’, and it was taking ‘a page out of the January 6 playbook.’ 

She has also said the recall ‘amounts to a coup to undo the will of Alameda County voters’ and said a ‘few right-wing local leaders have been recruited as figureheads’ for the recall effort.

Grisham claims Price has fought her attempts and is using intimidation tactics, including a recent ‘pointed’ letter detailing Grisham’s achievements sent directly to her home address in August. 

Price, Alameda County’s first Black DA, has taken a public stance on reforming Oakland’s criminal justice system and seeks to address racial disparities in prosecution figures. 

She is known to be a staunch opponent of imprisoning people and favors lenient sentencing, a stance that sparked outrage in April as she sought reduced charges against a gang that killed a toddler with a stray bullet in a highway gun battle.  

In the letter, she lauded how she had charged over 7,600 cases, hired ‘the most diverse class of victim-witness advocates ever’, and trained attorneys in the Racial Justice Act. 

Her campaign reportedly said it sent the letter to her home as an official answer to the recall petition, which is required by law within seven days of the recall campaign being filed. 

The DA added that it was sent to Grisham as her name appears first in the filing, however Grisham says she doesn’t believe this was the reason and felt it was threatening to send the letter to her home. 

It did not mention the recall effort, and said she didn’t know how Price got her home address, making her feel unsafe. 

‘It didn’t say, this is my response to the petition,’ Grisham said. ‘So I took it personal. Because I’m a mama. I got my kids and I have my grandkids.’  

‘There was no reason for that letter to come to my home,’ she added. ‘I took it as a message and I’m gonna continue to take it as a message… but what I’m not gonna do is to be intimidated to not stand up for these families.’ 

The hostilities between the two women appeared to reach fever pitch this week, as Grisham shared surveillance footage purporting to show Price arriving at her business with ‘armed goons.’

Feeling it was an attempt to intimidate her, Grisham said Price arrived with around five others, although it is unclear why she claimed the group was ‘armed’ and there is no indication they were carrying weapons. 

She also claimed that Price’s team said they did not know it was Grisham’s place of business, but only looked around the location before leaving as the activist was not there at the time. 

Price’s campaign fighting the recall vote told DailyMail.com that the incident was a misunderstanding, and the DA was taking part in a scheduled walk. 

‘This story is a conspiracy theory,’ said William Fitzgerald, spokesperson for Price’s ‘Protect the Win’ campaign. 

‘On Wednesday, Alameda County District Attorney was on a scheduled neighborhood walk in a part of Oakland known for being impacted by human trafficking. 

‘The safety walk was part of Human Trafficking awareness month. DA Pamela Price walked with approximately 10 people from the community and safety inspectors from her office. 

‘This is not the first time DA Price has done one of these safety walks, and she’ll continue to do them for as long as human trafficking remains an issue people in the community are impacted by.’ 

It came after Grisham made a public plea in August to cool off tensions, saying: ‘The personal attacks, I can’t do that. The name-calling, I can’t do all that… we gotta focus on what we gotta focus on and that’s these families.’ 

Price’s campaign wrote in July that it was determined to carry out her political platform, arguing it is what the voters asked for. 

‘The people handily elected her to implement criminal justice reform and make our system fair and balanced, rooting out racial, gender and economic disparities,’ the campaign wrote in July. 

‘DA Price is the People’s DA. She remains undeterred by this undemocratic effort and will continue to focus on enacting the reforms county voters mandated.’ 

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