The Prosecution and Public Rights Unit of the Alameda City Attorney’s Office has officially commenced handling domestic violence, elder abuse, and child abuse cases within the City of Alameda, according to a press release issued by the City on July 5. This crucial step marks the fulfillment of the voters’ mandate expressed through their overwhelming approval of Measure AA in 2020.
Measure AA aimed to strengthen local control and accountability by instructing the City Attorney’s Office to prosecute all state law misdemeanor offenses, including misdemeanor wobbler offenses—crimes that can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor—within the city limits. Since the measure passed, the City Attorney’s Office has worked closely with the Alameda Police Department (APD) and the District Attorney’s Office to onboard this important assignment expeditiously and responsibly.
According to the Voters Edge website, “Section 8-2 expands the City Attorney’s authority to prosecute all misdemeanor violations against the Laws of California that occur in Alameda. Currently, the City Attorney has only the full authority to prosecute violations of the City Charter. The City Attorney must receive permission from the county District Attorney’s office to prosecute violations of State law.”
In 2020, the Unit reviewed 220 cases referred by APD, a number that surged by 317% to 698 cases in 2022. These cases encompassed various state law offenses, such as thefts, commercial burglaries, reckless driving, DUIs, assaults (including assaults with deadly weapons), sexual batteries, and weapons/firearms offenses.
Under the guidance of Chief Assistant City Prosecutor Julia Gonzales, a highly respected leader in the prosecution of intimate partner and family violence, the Unit began addressing domestic violence, elder abuse, and child abuse cases in 2023. During the month of June alone, the Unit reviewed 11 cases involving domestic violence, elder abuse, and child abuse, all referred by APD, and filed charges in seven of those cases.
Chief of Police Nishant Joshi expressed appreciation for the collaboration. “The Alameda Police Department values the partnership and collaboration with the Alameda City Attorney’s Office,” he stated. “The work being done is incredible and provides another layer of support for public safety.”
City Attorney Yibin Shen shared his gratitude to the Council and the community for entrusting the City Attorney’s Office with the vital task of ensuring justice, protecting public safety, and safeguarding the rights of victims in Alameda. Shen emphasized the solemn responsibility carried by each city prosecutor, handled with care, humility, and compassion.
“We are pleased to be able to fulfill the voters’ mandates in taking up this important area of work,” Shen added. “Domestic violence, elder abuse, and child abuse affect every community, create deep and lasting impacts on victims and families, and are leading contributors to homelessness. We very much appreciate and look forward to continuing to collaborate with our justice partners at the Alameda Police Department and the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office to impact this important area of responsibility.”
The Alameda City Attorney’s Office’s Prosecution and Public Rights Unit is dedicated to delivering justice and supporting the residents of Alameda. In addition to prosecuting criminal offenses, the Unit addresses consumer protection, labor, and fair housing issues through educational programs and public outreach. When necessary, the Unit enforces these laws to safeguard the public from unfair and unlawful practices.
If you have questions or would like to report an issue, please contact the Prosecution Unit at 510-747-4772 or email