To the District Attorney for the County of Alameda, California, the Mayor of the City of Oakland, California, the Attorney General for the State of California, and the Attorney General of the United States:
Reporters Without Borders, the international press freedom organization, and all the undersigned do declare and petition as follows:
The police investigation surrounding the brutal murder of Post Newspaper Editor Chauncey Bailey, on 2 August 2007, has been unsatisfactory in that evidence, some recorded by the police, some uncovered by investigative reporters points at someone other than the currently accused defendant as a potential perpetrator(s) and/or mastermind(s) of the crime, and suggests that local police officials may be protecting those responsible for Mr. Bailey’s death.
Chauncey Bailey was killed because of his work as a journalist. Murders of reporters are rare in the United States. In informing people and denouncing public wrongdoings, the media play an important role in the checks and balances that are essential to any democracy. The justice system has to send a strong signal to those who want to silence the media, and show them that impunity will not prevail.
All those responsible for the murder, the perpetrator(s), the mastermind(s) and those protecting them, must be brought to justice. This important case must be taken away from the local officials and brought to the federal level, in order to avoid further bias, pressure and conflicts of interests and to allow a thorough and impartial investigation.
For all the above, the undersigned, concerned for the safety and liberty of all news reporters, do ask the District Attorney for the County of Alameda, California, and the Attorney General for the State of California to recuse themselves from this case. The undersigned do petition the Attorney General of the United States of America to intervene, conduct an independent investigation, and assume the prosecution of those responsible for the murder of Chauncey Bailey.