Chauncey Bailey Project

Two years later: The Chauncey Bailey slaying

Felecia Brown, second from left, and daughter Unyque sign a note of condolence at a memorial on the spot where Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey was gunned down August 2, 2007 in Oakland.  Brown said she was a student of Bailey's when he was working at KDIA radio (D. Ross Cameron/The Oakland Tribune)
Felecia Brown, second from left, and daughter Unyque sign a note of condolence at a memorial on the spot where Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey was gunned down August 2, 2007 in Oakland. Brown said she was a student of Bailey's when he was working at KDIA radio (D. Ross Cameron/The Oakland Tribune)

Felecia Brown, second from left, and daughter Unyque sign a note of condolence at a memorial on the spot where Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey was gunned down August 2, 2007 in Oakland. Brown said she was a student of Bailey's when he was working at KDIA radio (D. Ross Cameron/The Oakland Tribune)

By Thomas Peele, Mary Fricker and Bob Butler, The Chauncey Bailey Project

OAKLAND – Two years ago, when Devaughndre Broussard gunned down journalist Chauncey Bailey, he did it in exchange for a chance at becoming rich, he later told prosecutors.

But his pay for killing Bailey wasn’t cash, Broussard said. It was a promise of knowledge.

Yusuf Bey IV, the then 21-year-old CEO of Your Black Muslim Bakery, told Broussard that he’d teach him and cohort Antoine Mackey the secrets of creating bogus credit reports and fraudulent loan applications that would bring them hundreds of thousands of dollars, Broussard said in March.

Bey IV “was like, ‘I am gonna pay ya’ll “… with your credit scores,'”‰” said Broussard, who told a grand jury he killed Bailey and another man at Bey IV’s order. Broussard pleaded guilty in April to two counts of voluntary manslaughter and accepted a 25-year sentence in exchange for testimony.

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It was a seductive pitch that a couple of street kids from San Francisco couldn’t refuse, he said.

“We from the hood,” Broussard said. “People that ain’t never had nothing, show them something. “… They’ll be ready. They gonna be ready for whatever.”

So when Bey IV boasted that he could get Broussard and Mackey phony “credit scores of 800 or 900,” Broussard said, he believed that such ratings could qualify them for “$100,000, $500,000, probably a $1 million loan.”

He envisioned that what Bey IV allegedly offered him to kill Bailey meant he could “get a house just by signing your name,” he told Alameda County deputy district attorney Christopher Lamiero.

And court records and real estate documents show it likely was not an idle offer.

For the time that he carried the title of bakery chief executive officer — from November 2005 to early Aug. 2, 2007, when Bailey, 57, died in a hail of shotgun blasts — Bey IV was part of a ring that bought 12 houses in Antioch, Richmond, Oakland and Hayward, according to court and real estate records.

They took at least $6 million in 19 loans from 10 lenders, according to the Alameda County district attorney and bankruptcy court and real estate documents.

Of these, Bey IV and his girlfriend, Alaia Bey, borrowed $2.4 million to buy five houses during seven months in 2006.

In seven of the 12 transactions, including one by Bey IV, investigators say the group used fake identities to qualify for the loans.

Two men are now in prison, a third is wanted for arrest, and a fraud case against Bey IV and another of his followers, Tamon Halfin, are on hold pending the outcome of charges of violent crimes against them.

Both Bey IV and Mackey were indicted in April on three counts of murder each in the killing of Bailey and two other men in July 2007 based largely on Broussard’s testimony. Bey IV and Halfin are co-defendants in a case where they are charged with kidnapping two women and torturing one of them.

In a five-hour statement he gave prosecutors before appearing before the grand jury, Broussard painted a harrowing picture of life at the bakery, where he went seeking work in 2006 after being released from jail in San Francisco on assault charges.

Bey IV wooed him with a promise of “more than a job” in the same way the organization’s founder, Yusuf Bey, brought countless African-American men through the doors below the red and black star-and-crescent sign that loomed above San Pablo Avenue and converted them to his sect of Black Muslims.

But unlike his late father, who veiled criminal secrets such as child rape, welfare fraud and child-labor law violations behind an image of self-help and entrepreneurship, Bey IV let it be widely known within his ranks that he was only about making money, Broussard said.

“We don’t do what we do in the streets “… for the sake of righteousness, we do it ’cause we greedy, we do it ’cause we ain’t got (expletive), ’cause we tryin’ to get something” was how Broussard described Bey IV’s philosophy.

Still, Bey IV appeared to have learned much from his father’s rhetoric.

Bey the elder mocked the tenets of Christianity, berated Jews, called Caucasians “devils” and taught his followers that blacks were the world’s master race, lessons based on the teachings of Nation of Islam founders W.D. Fard and Elijah Muhammad.

“You’re not just ordinary people,” Bey told a roomful of followers and his Bay Area television audience in November 2002, less than a year before his death at 67. “Black is dominant. The Caucasian is the scientist for evil.”

Bey promised violence in response to any transgression. “We don’t turn no other cheek. You turn a fire hose on my mother, I will kill you til I die.”

And he told his followers they were entitled to wealth and could acquire it “by any means necessary” — a message that Bey IV used to allegedly entice Broussard and Mackey to kill Bailey.

To some, the bakery was about business.

“Most of the Bey family was never involved in illegal activity,” said Saleem Bey, who left the organization when a violent faction led by Bey IV’s older brother Antar seized control in 2004. “We were there to run the business. We don’t have criminal records.”

But fraud was behind much of what Bey did.

Records and court testimony show he bilked taxpayers out of as much as $10,000 a month for years through what Oakland attorney Edwin Wilson described as “a fairly sophisticated manipulation” of public assistance benefits. Bey was never charged.

Wilson represented Alameda County when three women who asserted Bey forced them to have sex with him when they were teenagers sued the county. Two of the women were foster children at the time and alleged that caseworkers failed to protect them. The case was settled out of court.

The women testified that Bey forced the mothers of his dozens of children to apply for public assistance and then took the money from them. Birth certificates of the children show Bey often omitted his name from them. The women then claimed they were without support — all while Bey built a multimillion-dollar empire.

“All of them was beating the system. Every single last one of them,” one of the women said in a deposition. She is not being identified because she is a victim of sexual assault.

“It was obviously part of his business plan. It was like an organized, systematic exploitation of the system,” Wilson said.

His son, Bey IV, had his own business plans, too, Broussard said, and they included killing those who interfered with him.

—‰’We lose money, they lose their life,'”‰” Broussard quoted Bey IV as saying about anyone who got in the way of his enterprises.

Bailey was writing a story about the bakery’s troubled finances — Bey IV had quickly run it into bankruptcy by not paying taxes and bills — when Bey IV learned of the upcoming article in the Oakland Post. That’s when, Broussard said, Bey IV ordered the reporter killed.

A person, deeply familiar with the bakery and the family, said everything the young scion learned came from his namesake.

“They have a sick, warped way because of the father. The father started all of this,” the person said. The person asked not to be identified because of safety concerns.

“They were so scared of him. He was physical to them. He was going around hurting people. This is where (Bey IV) gets this stuff from. They want to be like their father. I do believe they thought their father was god,” the person said.

The elder Bey told his followers that “we are at war. We have been at war for 400 years.” The descendants of slaves, he said, were due massive reparations for their suffering, much more so than those due Holocaust survivors.

“I didn’t put no Jews in no oven,” he said on television in 2002, insisting that slaves and the offspring suffered far more and far longer than Jews did under Hitler. “I want the government to say, ‘I owe you.'”‰”

He preached that the only criteria for success was to be rich — regardless of means.

“You judge a man’s wealth by ownership, his land, that’s how you judge,” he said in 2002 when Bey IV was 16.

Just a few years later, Bey IV was allegedly baiting Broussard and Mackey with dreams of wealth and land and urging them to kill for it.

Broussard told Lamiero that Bey IV constantly flaunted money to bakery employees, some of whom lived in squalor and were paid inconsistently — if at all.

“He showed us houses he bought,” Broussard said. “He was like, ‘Look at these check statements,'”‰” and would waive around six-figure checks.

Broussard told Lamiero he had no doubt that Bey IV could make him rich.

“I seen it done, how he fix someone’s credit and that person came through with brand-new (things),” Broussard said. “It was a couple of different people coming in in brand-new cars where before they had been walking.”

The real estate ring of which Bey IV is alleged to have been a part took advantage of easy-to-obtain mortgages and forged identities to acquire properties. With at least one house in Richmond, they rented it out while making few mortgage payments, pocketing cash until the lender foreclosed, according to records.

Bey IV and four others were charged with multiple counts of forgery, grand theft and identify theft. Two of them, Randy Harvey and Marlon Campbell, have been convicted and sentenced to state prison. Another, Maurice Campbell, is wanted on a warrant.

Records show that Bey IV, then 20, and his common-law wife, Alaia Bey, then 19, borrowed $2.4 million to buy five houses during seven months in 2006. They and other members of the ring made almost no payments, and lenders foreclosed on most of the houses within a year.

Alaia Bey, also known as Tiffany Wade, has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

Broussard said Bey IV often pointed to his real estate holdings as what his followers could attain — if they did what he wanted.

“He’s like, ‘Man, ya’ll do this, man, ya’ll gonna be set for life,'”‰” Broussard quoted Bey IV as saying about killing Bailey.

Broussard’s life as a free man lasted fewer than 24 hours after he shot Bailey three times, leaving him dead on the sidewalk of 14th Street.

He confessed, then recanted. Bey IV was jailed in the kidnapping-and-torture case, but he was not charged in Bailey’s death until Broussard agreed to testify against him nearly 18 months later.

A man who Bey IV has described as his business manager, Shakir Zaid, said Bey IV dealt with “emotional, physical, spiritual and verbal abuse” from his father.

“He dealt with a lot of situations at his age,” Zaid said. “I am not saying what he did was right.”

Bey said in 2002 that his offspring were his future.

“You can destroy me,” he said. “But I got sons coming up,” and he had taught them “not to turn the other cheek. They will fight you til the bitter end.”

Thomas Peele is an investigative reporter. Mary Fricker and Bob Butler are independent journalists. Contact them at tpeele@bayareanewsgroup.com, maryfricker@hughes.net and bobbutler7@comcast.net.

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Special investigation
Day One
:
Two years later: The Chauncey Bailey slaying
The Chauncey Bailey slaying: Key players
From Texas to Oakland, the elder Bey’s path to the bakery
Yusuf Bey built business empire with questionable tactics
Welfare money-maker for senior Bey
Bey’s security firms important financial arm of his businesses
Yusuf Bey IV grew up in prominent yet troubled bakery
Bailey suspects, associates left behind $6 million trail of bad loans
Security business at Marriott earns praise
Day Two:
The Oakland Post pushes forward despite loss of its prolific editor
Chauncey Bailey’s family still in pain two years after killing
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