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Tuesday
Jul 29th

Chauncey Bailey, Oakland Post editor, murdered

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The publisher of the Oakland Post is calling on Black newspapers across America to not only stay the course, but to "step up" when uncovering injustices and speaking truth to power despite the assassination-style murder of his paper's editor, Chauncey Bailey, allegedly by a man that police said confessed he didn't like what Bailey was writing.

Chauncey Bailey

The publisher of the Oakland Post is calling on Black newspapers across America to not only stay the course, but to "step up" when uncovering injustices and speaking truth to power despite the assassination-style murder of his paper's editor, Chauncey Bailey, allegedly by a man that police said confessed he didn't like what Bailey was writing.

"Especially with the demise of our national civil rights organizations like the NAACP, the Black Press is going to have to step up. They should not shrink back and give a free pass to either suspected corruption or wrong-doing or inequities in society," said Paul Cobb, who has also received hate mail as publisher of the Post.

But Cobb vowed not to allow fear, threats or intimidation to stop his paper from continuing to uncover truths: "If you don't cover something that needs to be covered just because you're afraid for your life, you don't need to be in the business. If you know there's wrongdoing and you sit idly by; then who are you? If we turn the other way, we shirk our responsibility."

The Post is a member of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, The Black Press of America, a federation of 200 Black-owned newspapers.

"While I did not know Chauncey Bailey personally, I am saddened to learn of his death and in such a violent way," said Dorothy Leavell, chair of the NNPA Foundation, which has a national news service. "He was a member of the Black Press family and we extend our condolences to the Oakland Post newspaper staff and Mr. Bailey's family. We hope that justice will prevail and the perpetrator who stilled a strong voice of the Black Press will be apprehended."

Oakland police said that Devaughndre Broussard, a handyman at Your Black Muslim Bakery told police that he killed Bailey because he was angry over stories the journalist had written about the business and its employees and about future stories he might be working on concerning the bakery's finances, according to reports. Arrested Saturday, Broussard was booked on murder and weapons charges, and was being held without bond. Broussard was on probation for a San Francisco burglary, according to reports.
Police said that Broussard, wearing dark clothing, went around looking for Bailey the morning before the shooting after learning he had not arrived at work. He allegedly began driving around in a van until he spotted Bailey in the 200 block of 14th Street. There he confronted him and shot Bailey at least three times with a shotgun.

Despite police and witness accounts, Cobb is also cautioning that people not rush to judgment as details of the shooting and motives are publicized, but rather wait for facts to come out through the legal process: "These are the same people that said Jessica Lynch had shot her way through the hospital. The same police said that football player had been killed by enemy combat."

Cobb referred to systemic police corruption and cover-ups, such as the case of U. S. Army Private First Class Jessica Lynch, who now says that the U. S. military lied about her heroism, and NFL star Pat Tillman, who officials now admit was actually killed by his fellow U. S. soldiers in Iraq.

In the past four years since Bailey was hired, the Post had received numerous "threats of violence," Cobb said. "He and I both have received hate mail."

He says that the paper is now taking on former Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown, now state attorney general, after some records in his former office were taken or destroyed by his aids. The move has apparently violated California's freedom of information laws.

"We've been dogged on that," said Cobb. "We've been told by a lot of people, 'Why don't you leave that one alone
 

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