Tributes on the Life of Chauncey Bailey

By Bay City News
Friday August 03, 2007

Tributes to slain Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey poured in today from prominent politicians as well as from his colleagues in the news business. 

Oakland police say Bailey, 58, who was a reporter for the Oakland Tribune for more than 10 years and recently served as editor of the Oakland Post, was shot multiple times on the 250 block of 14th St. shortly before 7:30 a.m. Thursday in what appears to have been a targeted shooting. 

The Oakland Post’s office is several blocks away from the scene of the shooting at 405 14th St. 

Oakland police spokesman Roland Holmgren said witnesses told police that a lone suspect dressed in black clothing and black headgear approached Bailey, shot him multiple times and then fled on foot. 

Holmgren said he has no initial explanation for the motive of the shooting and no knowledge of any threats that had been made against Bailey. 

Holmgren said he knew Bailey because Bailey covered Oakland City Hall as well as police matters and described Bailey as “a very assertive person who spoke his mind and addressed controversial topics.” 

Bailey worked for The Oakland Tribune for more than 10 years before leaving the newspaper in 2003, according to Tribune employees. 

He later joined the Oakland Post, which is oriented toward serving the area’s black community. 

Gwendolyn Carter, the paper’s advertising manager, who came to the shooting scene, said Bailey was just promoted to be editor in the last month or two. 

Carter said, “Chauncey was a great man and he called me his little sister.” 

Derrick Nesbitt praised Bailey for helping him get into the news business when Bailey hosted a television program called “Soul Beat.” 

Nesbitt said, “Chauncey was very controversial and could bring anger out in people.” 

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, said, “I was shocked and saddened to learn of Chauncey Bailey’s death this morning. Chauncey contributed so much to the fabric of our community, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.” 

Lee said, “It is my hope that the perpetrators of this horrible crime are brought to justice swiftly, and that Chauncey’s untimely death will bring our community together and strengthen our collective hand in rooting out this type of violence.” 

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums said Bailey’s death “is a huge loss for all of Oakland.” 

Dellums said, “It is a tragedy when any person loses his or her life by an act of violence. The crime and violence on Oakland streets presents me with the most painful and difficult challenge I’ve ever faced.” 

Dellums said, “We should all be able to move through our lives on the streets of Oakland in peace and safety. We are all diminished by the loss of any one of us.” 

Dellums added, “Chauncey will be missed. He was at every media event and he always asked the first question. His questions were thoughtful and you knew that he sought to truly inform the public.” 

Oakland Tribune managing editor Martin Reynolds said, “Chauncey Bailey was a friend, a valued colleague and a loving father. His death has left all of us at the Oakland Tribune shocked and deeply saddened.” 

Reynolds said, “Chauncey’s coverage of Oakland’s African American community was a tremendous asset to the Tribune.” 

Reynolds recalled that, “I just saw him last week walking through Frank Ogawa Plaza (next to Oakland’s City Hall). He was in his trademark business suit and tie. We chatted as we always did when we saw each other, and I congratulated him again on being named editor of the Post.” 

Reynolds said, “We will miss Chauncey and send our sincerest condolences to his friends and family. We now look to the authorities to bring his killer to justice.” 

Bob Butler, a reporter for KCBS Radio who is president of the Bay Area Black Journalists’ Association, said the association “is saddened” to learn of Bailey’s death. 

Butler said, “I first met Chauncey when he was a general assignment reporter at the Oakland Tribune. Over the years our paths crossed many times, sometimes sitting on workshop panels together at conferences.” 

He said, “I last saw him on July 11th when were both honored as ‘101 African American Men Making A Difference’ in Oakland. Chauncey was excited because he had recently been named the editor of the Oakland Post and had also been involved with buying a cable access franchise in Oakland.” 

“The Bay Area Black Journalists Association offers its condolences to Bailey’s family, friends and colleagues. African Americans have lost a champion and the world has lost an outstanding journalist,” Butler said.