Justice for Henry

My friend Katie has seen more heartbreak than you would wish on your worst enemy in a lifetime.

She lost her eldest son, Henry, last year.

He was addicted to drugs, trying to recover, when he was assaulted and given an overdose. He died about a month later, never leaving the hospital. I cannot tell the story any more poignantly than she has.

Just look at this boy.

He was badly abused by evil people who preyed on his vulnerability and sickness.

All I can do about my friend’s grief is nearly nothing.

I can, however, express my distress, my deep disappointment, and my anger at the way the Knoxville sherrif’s office and the DA’s office handled this case. Or rather, have declined to handle this case. They have displayed contempt for this teenage boy and for his family. Which makes me mad for my friend. They’ve displayed reckless disregard for the safety of our community. Which makes me fearful for the children I am raising in Knoxville.

Katie held her tongue for many long months, trying to ensure she did not foil any ongoing investigation. Now it is clear they are just waiting for her to go away. Unlikely. She’s gotten a ton of local media attention in the past week and now the national media is coming around. She’ll be on CNN’s Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell tonight at 7. I know my family will be watching. I hoped that our local authorities would be motivated by concern for our community and a desire to enforce the law. But shame will do.


5 responses to this post.

  1. I’ll be there.


  2. Thank you.


  3. Posted by vikki felts on March 10, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    I don’t know the story, but I’m heart broken at the pain I know this mother has and is suffering. Is there anything I can do for her?


    • That’s really kind of you. What’s most helpful to her, I believe, is people posting comments on her blog. Knox County residents are the most powerful since they can affect authorities with their votes. She knows that the DA’s office is reading her blog and it helps keep the pressure on.


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