Chauncey Bailey, Jr.’s Murder Remembered

Post Editor Gunned Down August 2, 2007 While Walking to Work in Downtown Oakland Fellow Journalists, Family, Friends and His Priest Gathered at the Site of Killing

By Carla
Thomas

Chauncey Bailey, Jr.’s brother, Mark Cooley visited the site where the murder occurred in downtown Oakland. Post and El Mundo staff joined in rememberance. Photos by Adam Turner.

There was a feeling of yearning for justice for Chauncey Bailey’s family as his brother Mark Cooley visited Oakland to mark the third year of the tragic loss of his assassinated brother. It was perhaps poetic justice as he bravely read the words of his poem “Faithful Yet Frustrated” before more than 50 Post, El Mundo staff, family and friends who gathered to mark the third year of Bailey’s murder.
Cooley, came to town from Modesto to take part in an impromptu street commemorative observance service at 14th & Alice Streets. This gathering, put together by Chauncey’s publisher and friend, Mr. Paul Cobb, to accommodate Cooley’s trip to Oakland attracted many who stopped to join in the ceremony.
The group gathered at the site Chauncey’s last breath was taken by gunfire.
Post News Group staff members, co-hosts of Our TV, friends, Vietnamese representatives of the family Chauncey was scheduled to marry into  weeks after his death, and other community VIPs, gathered to honor a great journalist.
This tragedy sent a wave of anger throughout the world of communications. But the media rallied to conduct an unprecedented award-winning investigation into Bailey’s killing. That investigation sent shock waves throughout the nation and even rocked the Police Department and the District Attorney’s offices.

Post publisher Paul Cobb told attendees how he was walking from the opposite direction to meet Bailey before he was killed. Photo by Gene Hazzard.

During a delicious Mediterranean lunch interview at Amal’s Espresso Gourmet Cafe on 14th Street, after the ceremony, Cooley, shared more of his soul.  Chauncey often conducted some of his interviews at the same table in the same restaurant.”When Chauncey first died, I wrote about 40 poems and could feel his presence all the while,” Cooley said.
.  His extraordinary streams of consciousness and energy set off by hazel eyes on a handsomely mature face, masks the pain of missing his brother.  Balanced out by the joy he finds surrounded by those who loved, respected and interacted with his brother, he is a fountain of hope for the future.  “Chauncey was so proud to live in Oakland.  He came back after all his travels and unlike Tony Bennett, Chauncey literally left his heart in Oakland,” he continued.  Two months prior to Chauncey’s death, publisher Paul Cobb gave Chauncey the reigns of his publishing company and named him the Editor –in-Chief of the entire Post News Group, representing seven newspapers.
Cooley, reflected on his brother living his dreams at what should have been the height of a longer career.  “He was finally able to be in a culture of people that represented what he stood for.  He sat in the position that he had always coveted and had been named one of the top 100 most influential people in Oakland.”
Cooley further stated, “the memorial service had me in the best mood I’d been in since Chauncey’s death.  I realized today that the justice that I’d been looking for is in the wrong place.   It isn’t the justice system.  Too many variables that are beyond my control, the family’s control…the real justice I found yesterday was I could see the paper going in the direction that was my brother’s dream.  New employees bringing in new ideas.  Mr. Cobb’s re-founded commitment to deliver the news to the black community is what Chauncey stood for and wouldn’t accept anything less.  But, it’s not only his commitment, but his ability to create a cooperative evolution by bringing in the type of employees that recognize the power of the pen.”
Cooley wrote for the Post for months after Bailey’s death and sat in his brother’s desk in the “Chauncey Bailey Room” at the Post while he finished his poem.
Looking out from the 12th floor windows at the site where Chauncey was killed,  he experienced the view that the Post staff has seen everyday since his death.
Chauncey Bailey, Jr., Bay Area writer and global journalist extraordinaire is sorely missed and a huge void is felt throughout the local community as well as the world. However, his mark is indelibly engraved in newsprint all over the world and in our hearts.