Chauncey Bailey Project

John Muhammad Bey

John Muhammad Bey, right, and Ali Saleem Bey (HermanBustamanteJr./WestCountyTimes)
John Muhammad Bey, right, and Ali Saleem Bey (HermanBustamanteJr./WestCountyTimes)

John Muhammad Bey, right, and Ali Saleem Bey (HermanBustamanteJr./WestCountyTimes)

John Muhammad Bey, 44 is the former head of UD Security, part of the multi-faceted empire of Your Black Muslim Bakery. Born John Garin Ayers, he was a “spiritually adopted son” and old-guard confidante of bakery founder Yusuf Ali Bey I, who built a business empire of bakery outlets, dry cleaning and security companies in Oakland.
Police believe Yusuf Bey’s 2003 death touched off a bloody power struggle began between the founder’s younger children and older allies like John Bey who were in control. In February 2004, Yusuf Ali Bey’s handpicked successor, Waajid Aljawwaad Bey, vanished, and his body was found later in a shallow grave in the Oakland hills. Yusuf Bey’s 23-year-old son, Antar, took over.

John Bey had voiced suspicions that Antar Bey may have been behind the murder of his 51-year-old predecessor, so he moved his family out of a bakery-owned building and into a relative’s house in the well-to-do district of Montclair.

Then, just after dawn one day in June 2005, three men ambushed John Bey in the driveway. Wounded and screaming for help, he ran, pursued by several men firing shotguns and handguns. Oakland police found him in the back yard of a frightened neighbor who would not open the door to the bloodied Bey.

He survived, but left town with his family. His relatives refused to move back into their house.

Police believe that members of the bakery shot John Bey, but no one has ever been arrested.

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