DA Price’s Canceled Chinese Name Announcement Draws Ire Amid Recall Effort

Embattled Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price sparked backlash this week after planning a press conference to announce her Chinese name, only to abruptly cancel the event without explanation. The move, intended to mark Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, was met with accusations of cultural appropriation and pandering from critics.

Charles Huang, who heads the local National Asian Pacific Islanders Prosecutors Association, called the planned announcement “ridiculous” and “pandering at the highest level.” The incident comes as Price, who is facing a recall election in November, grapples with a rocky relationship with the Asian community.

Price, Alameda County’s first African-American DA, has dismissed criticism of her progressive agenda as being motivated by racism and outdated prosecution methods. However, her refusal to commit to sentencing enhancements and charge reductions in cases involving Asian victims has angered the county’s sizable Asian community.

In the case of a 2-year-old boy killed by a stray bullet in Oakland in 2021, Price did not pledge to keep the criminal enhancements applied by her predecessor to maximize potential jail terms for the three gang members arrested on murder charges. Instead, she instructed staff to avoid such enhancements to “bring balance back to sentencing and reduce recidivism,” according to a leaked memo.

The DA’s handling of the case prompted the resignations of two veteran prosecutors, Rebecca Warren and Danielle Hilton, who accused Price of being “condescending and disrespectful” towards Asians and prioritizing her progressive agenda over providing justice to crime victims.