Katie Allison Granju is finally going public. Last year her teenage son Henry was severely and permanently disabled from complications after an assault and a drug overdose. He later died from his injuries. Katie has maintained that, contrary to Tennessee law, the local authorities have refused to thoroughly investigate her son's death as a homicide, and believes that because he suffered from drug addiction, the authorities simply did not care about pursuing the people whose criminal actions or inactions may have helped kill him.
Katie has been writing about her grief and at the same time, carefully, about her interactions with the investigation. She has not shared details until now.
Here is an excerpt from her introductory post:
Over the coming week, I will for the first time be sharing here on my blog every single specific detail of what happened to my teenage son, as well as all the information regarding how authorities have handled the case thus far.
I have waited nine long months for Knox County [TN] authorities to do the right thing. Polite, well-behaved southerner that I am, I have continued to err on the side of discretion and silence over all these months, in hopes that by being “good,” things would be made right. But I am no longer willing to do that.
My son did not die of an “accidental” overdose, and the investigation into his death has been inept and callous. The people who killed Henry are still free, and unless they are arrested and prosecuted, I have no doubt that someone else’s child will die.
Here is the latest update, "Justice for Henry, Part 6" which contains links to the previous five installments. You may judge for yourself, but I find her descriptions of the official communications from the prosecutors breathtakingly appalling.
There's a lot of perspectives from which we can be outraged about Henry Granju's case. I hesitate to write anything political about it, because what it has to mean above all is a terrible grief, for one real family of real people who are really hurting.
So the only observation I wish to make is that it looks to me like a terrible reversal of what ought to be. People suffering from drug addiction and trying to escape it are dismissed as useless trash, their deaths shrugged off as being only what they deserved. Violent assailants who beat a young man up until he bleeds from the ears are ignored.
Meanwhile, the public servants whose job it is to prosecute criminals -- dangerous ones in particular -- sneer at grieving parents in their official correspondence. I don't think it's too much to ask government workers to pretend in their official capacity as if they have a shred of respect for the members of the public they ostensibly serve.
UPDATE: the latest post is now "Part 8." Please read. I am beginning to understand why Katie has so urgently insisted that she believes other young people will be harmed if the local authorities don't investigate.