Chauncey Bailey Project

Investigators: Bakery leader bragged about ordering killing of Oakland journalist

Yusuf Bey IV addresses the media with attorney Lorna Brown in front of Your Black Muslim Bakery in Oakland. (Brian Frank/Oakland Tribune 12/8/05)
Yusuf Bey IV addresses the media with attorney Lorna Brown in front of Your Black Muslim Bakery in Oakland. (Brian Frank/Oakland Tribune 12/8/05)

Yusuf Bey IV addresses the media with attorney Lorna Brown in front of Your Black Muslim Bakery in Oakland. (Brian Frank/Oakland Tribune 12/8/05)

By Thomas Peele, The Chauncey Bailey Project

Former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV bragged in jail about ordering the killing of journalist Chauncey Bailey in 2007 because Bailey had financial information that Bey IV “didn’t want to get out,” according to a statement taken by investigators late last year.

Bey IV said he had to “sacrifice a soldier” to “take out” the Oakland Post editor to protect the bakery, according to the statement taken by the Alameda County District Attorney’s office from a confidential informant. Bey IV remains uncharged in the Aug. 2, 2007 killing of Bailey; he is jailed awaiting trial on unrelated kidnapping and torture charges.

This and other documents obtained Wednesday by The Chauncey Bailey Project add these new details to the case:

– Bey IV bragged that Oakland homicide Detective Sgt. Derwin Longmire, the lead detective in the Bailey case, was a “sympathizer” of the bakery who was not pursuing charges against him and was receiving sexual favors set up by Bey IV, according to the confidential informant.

Reached Wednesday night, Longmire said that police department policy banned him from commenting. He referred questions to his attorney, Michael Rains, who did not return a phone call Wednesday night.

– Bailey told a co-worker at the Oakland Post shortly before his death that “the Muslims” had been making “threats on his life” in phone calls. This statement came from Nisiyah Yahudah, who was once married to bakery founder Yusuf Bey.

– Devaughndre Broussard confessed to killing Bailey to stop him from “writing bad things” about the bakery. He then recanted and pleaded not guilty. In the statement from the informant about Bey IV, Bey IV is said to have claimed that he ordered Broussard to recant “so the confession would ‘lose credibility at trial.’”

Longmire left Bey IV and Broussard alone in a police interrogation room for about six minutes — without recording their conversation — immediately after which Broussard confessed. Before the time with Bey IV, he had denied the killing.

– District attorney investigators interviewed a former district director of Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, who told them Bey IV and his entourage were showing up so often at Lee’s Oakland office in 2007 that she had to tell him to not come without an appointment.

Leslie Littleton, the former director who now works for Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums, said that Sandra Andrews, another staff member, knew Bey IV, describing him as “like a son to her” and urged Littleton to write a letter of support for Bey IV in the bakery’s bankruptcy proceeding.

– Ali Saleem Bey, a former member of the bakery, also was asking Lee’s office to intervene against Bey IV in the bankruptcy case. Littleton told investigators that she cut off contact with both parties.

Julie Nickson, Lee’s chief of staff, said that Lee could not comment because of the ongoing investigation of Bailey killing.

How much weight the district attorney’s office is giving these statements is unclear.

Nancy O’Malley in the District Attorney’s Office declined to comment Wednesday night. Christopher Lamiero, the prosecutor trying the only person charged in the case, could not be reached.

Bey IV has made other incriminating statements about the Bailey killing, as documented by the Chauncey Bailey Project. A bakery worker also told police in 2007 that Bey IV watched a television news report on the killing and boasted that the slaying would “teach them to (expletive) with us.”

After a brief court appearance by Broussard last month, where his trial was set to begin May 19, Lamiero said the investigation of Bailey’s killing remained ongoing.

The state justice department and police internal affairs division are investigating Longmire’s handling of the case and the oversight of his then-supervisors, Lt. Ersie Joyner and former Capt. Jeffrey Loman. Longmire and Joyner were transferred to patrol this year, a move that police said was routine. Loman is suspended with pay pending the outcome of an unrelated sexual harassment investigation.

Oakland Tribune reporters Kelly Rayburn and Paul Rosynsky and independent journalist Bob Butler contributed to this story.

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