The family of Jasper Wu, an Oakland toddler who was killed by a stray bullet, have voiced concern over Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price’s plans to not pursue jail time for the suspects.
Wu was driving home to Fremont, California, with his family on Nov. 6, 2021, when a stray bullet pierced their car on Interstate 880. The bullet passed through their front windshield and hit the 23-month-old toddler in the forehead.
The bullet came from a rival gang shootout between two vehicles exchanging fire. Trevor Green, 22, Ivory Bivins, 24, and Johnny Jackson, 34, were arrested in December 2022 and charged with murder, shooting at an occupied vehicle and possession of a firearm by a felon.
They are expected to have their preliminary hearing on murder charges by the end of this month.
When a member of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community asked Price for an update on the case, Price responded in an email:
Our office is currently working on a partnership with the Asian Law Caucus to support AAPI victims of violence in ways that open up broader possibilities for healing and non-carceral forms of accountability.
Price revealed that her office is working to pursue “non-carceral” — meaning no jail time, even for criminals — forms of punishment.
The email, which was obtained by ABC7 News, was met with criticism from Wu’s family and Norbert Chu, who previously served as an Alameda County prosecutor for 35 years.
“There are almost no consequences due to no threat of severe punishments waiting,” a spokesperson for the Wu family told ABC 7 News. “How would that restore the public’s faith in the justice system? How would the public feel safe?”
“If I were Jasper’s parents, I would be highly offended. And I would be very fearful,” Chu said, noting that Price’s “insulting” statement appears to tell the AAPI community that “somehow we’re lesser victims than other people.”
When ABC 7’s Dan Noyes checked with the Asian Law Caucus regarding Price’s plan, they denied knowing anything about the email, noting that the first meeting with her office was only introductory.
“I’m very confused about this,” said the nonprofit’s executive director.
Although no decision has been made about dropping enhancements in charges related to Wu’s death, Price has reportedly asked the toddler’s parents to come in for a meeting next week.