Chauncey Bailey Project

Peter Kaufman

Peter August Kaufman had been a baker for Your Black Muslim Bakery for seven years when he was slain in June 1986. Known as Usman, he was 32 years old when he was found slumped out of a red Ford van, three blocks from the bakery. He had two bullets in his brain and torso. Police suspected robbery; the crime went unsolved.

In April 2008, the Chauncey Bailey Project linked Kaufman’s killing to the bakery through police reports, the death certificate and a deposition in a 2003 lawsuit.

Three “Jane Doe” plaintiffs sued the bakery, founder Yusuf Ali Bey I and Alameda County, alleging Bey had raped and impregnated them as minors. They said they waited years to go to police because Bey had warned that they or their families might end up “floating in the bay.”

Peter Kaufman and Ronald Allen were cases in point, they said.

Two of the women testified that Kaufman had surprised Bey in the act of raping a young boy in a bakery bathroom and had tried to intervene. Afterward, he shared the shocking story with co-workers. Within days, he was dead.

Four years earlier, it was Your Black Muslim Bakery delivery driver Ronald Allen, who was suspected of skimming money. His shotgun-blasted body was found near Berkeley’s bayside landfill.

Berkeley police reopened the case based on information and evidence seized in August 2007 following the murder of Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey, who was investigating the bakery’s financial dealings.

In January 2008 after the Jane Doe civil suit was settled, Alameda County Counsel Richard Winnie turned over testimony and other legal documents to the district attorney, recommending he pursue the allegations contained within.

In April 2008, based on evidence uncovered by the Chauncey Baily Project, Berkeley police reopened their files on Kaufman’s killing.

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