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March 29, 2021—A coalition of California district attorneys, police, business leaders and
crime victims will hold a news conference on Tuesday, March 30 at 11:00 a.m. PST to
express their strong opposition to SB 82, a bill that would downgrade some felony
robberies to misdemeanor charges of petty theft.

The bill proposed by Sen. Nancy Skinner and already approved by the Senate Public Safety
Committee, would redefine a charge of robbery without the use of a weapon or Great
Bodily Injury (GBI) to a petty theft, a lesser charge.

The bill has generated strong opposition from a wide swath of Californians from law
enforcement officials to members of the Asian/Pacific Islander community following a
series of attacks on Asian Americans in the Bay Area and across the nation.

“Robbery is robbery and most Californians understand that,” said El Dorado County District
Attorney Vern Pierson, the president of the California District Attorneys Association
(CDAA). “It’s too bad Senator Skinner doesn’t understand it. Ask the victims of crimes who
have been put in fear of their lives if they consider a robbery to be petty. I can assure you
they do not.”

The news conference will begin at 11:00 a.m. PST. Please use this link to register to attend:

California Leaders Speaking Out Against SB 82:

• Mr. Frank Lee—press conference organizer and President of Organization for Justice and Equality
• Mr. Vern Pierson—El Dorado County District Attorney and President of the California District Attorneys Association
• Ms. Annie Esposito —Alameda County Deputy District Attorney and Chairwoman of the Asian American Prosecutors Association
• Mr. Ron Fong—President and CEO of the California Grocers Association
• Mr. John Lovell—Chief Legal Counsel of the California Narcotic Officers’ Association
• Chief Ron Lawrence—Citrus Heights Police Chief and Immediate Past President of the California Police Chiefs Association
• Ms. Patricia Wenskunas—CEO of Crime Survivors, Inc.  
• Ms. Nina Besselman—Executive Director/President of Crime Victims United 
• Rev. Walter Hoye—President of the Frederick Douglass Foundation of California
• Mr. Carl Chan—President of the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce
• Dr. Raymond Kim—Professor of Finance, Northern Arizona University
• Mr. Ryan Couzens — Yolo County Assistant Deputy District Attorney and Former Board Member of California District Attorneys Association