By The Vanguard Staff
OAKLAND, CA — A “Public Accountability Unit” to hold “law enforcement and public officials accountable for misconduct” has been formed here, and case reviews will involve at least three cases cleared previously, according to Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Y. Price
Price, who made a campaign promise to form the PAU, said the unit “will be housed under a Civil Rights Bureau,” and her office has asked local police chiefs and Alameda County Sheriff Yesenia Sanchez to return evidence for eight officer-involved shootings and in-custody deaths.
The DA said she was interested in 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,” said DA Price.
She added, “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.”
Price noted reviews will include three officer involved shooting cases that former DA Nancy O’Malley in December of 2022 said were justified shootings by officers.
However, Price said she wants to take another look at those case reviews.
“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. 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,” Price said.
Senior Assistant District Attorney Kwixuan Maloof, head of the Public Accountability Unit and lead attorney of the Civil Rights Bureau, added, “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,”
Maloof explained, “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.”
Officer-involved shooting cases to be reviewed, include, 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.
Maloof added 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.