Chauncey Bailey Project

Former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV guilty for murdering Chauncey Bailey

Left to right, Antoine Mackey, Yusuf Bey IV, Devaughndre Broussard (CChing/CIR)
Left to right, Antoine Mackey, Yusuf Bey IV, Devaughndre Broussard (CChing/CIR)

Left to right, Antoine Mackey, Yusuf Bey IV, Devaughndre Broussard (CChing/CIR)

By Thomas Peele, The Chauncey Bailey Project

OAKLAND — A jury has just convicted former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV for the 2007 murder of journalist Chauncey Bailey.

Bey IV, 25, faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole when he is sentenced July 8.

Bailey, 57, was the first journalist killed over a domestic story in the United States since 1976, when Don Bolles of the Arizona Republic died in a car bombing

The jury of seven men and five women began deliberations in the Bailey case May 23 after nine weeks of testimony from more than 50 witnesses.

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KTVU-TV: Bey IV found guilty of murdering Bailey
Bay Area News Group: Chauncey Bailey murder trial Special Report
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Bailey, editor of the Oakland Post, was gunned down Aug. 2, 2007, on his way to work in downtown Oakland. The man who confessed to killing Bailey, bakery member Devaughndre Broussard, told officials that Bey IV ordered the death to stop the journalist from publishing an article about the bakery’s financial troubles. Broussard accepted a plea deal in exchange for his testimony and is expected to be sentenced to 25 years in prison.

After Bailey’s death, a coalition of local media, including the Bay Area News Group, joined in the Chauncey Bailey Project, an investigative group that looked into the case and the Oakland Police Department’s handling of it.

“From the very first meeting that led to the creation of the Chauncey Bailey Project, there were two goals,” said Robert Rosenthal, executive editor of the Chauncey Bailey Project and head of the Berkeley-based Center for Investigative Reporting. “One was to continue Chauncey’s work and to make sure that when a journalist is murdered because of their work justice is served. There is no doubt that the work of the project helped keep law enforcement focused on this case, and revealed facts and evidence that may have never been disclosed. Today’s verdict is a reminder that journalists do make a difference and that their work is crucial to our democracy.”

After a decade-long stint at the Detroit News, Bailey joined the Oakland Tribune in 1993 and was fired from the paper in 2005 for ethical violations. He had been appointed editor of the Oakland Post, a free circulation weekly paper covering the city’s African-American community only weeks before his death.

He had written but not published a story about the bakery’s 2006 bankruptcy filing that a judge had recently converted from reorganization to liquidation. Post publisher Paul Cobb had rejected the story, claiming it didn’t contain enough attribution.

At the time, police suspected bakery members were involved in two other killings as well as the kidnapping of two women and the torture of one of them. Police had planned to raid the bakery compound the day before Bailey’s murder, but delayed to accommodate the vacation scheduled of two senior SWAT commanders.

When they carried out the operation the day after Bailey’s death, Broussard threw the shotgun out his bedroom window and was arrested. He repeatedly told police he didn’t kill Bailey, but Bey IV, in separate interviews with detectives, claimed Broussard had told him he committed the murder.

Detectives eventually brought Bey IV into their interview with Broussard and after he continued to claim he killed no one, left them alone together for about six minutes with recording the conversations.

Immediately after that conversation, Broussard told Sgt. Derwin Longmire, “I shot him. … He fell. I shot him again.”

Broussard told jurors during his trial testimony that during the time alone Bey IV convinced him to give a flawed confession. “He said I was being tested by God,” Broussard said that he was also promised a Bey-family lawyer, money and a light jail sentence in exchange for protecting Bey IV from charges he ordered the killing.

Police said within days that they didn’t believe Broussard acted alone, but did not investigate other suspects vigorously. Bey IV and Mackey were not charged in Bailey’s killing until April 2009, after Broussard agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

When he finally testified against his former friends, Broussard, 23, laughed as he described how he shot Roberson and acted in what defense lawyers described as a bizarre manner, sometimes taking a minute or more to answer a question.

During breaks in his testimony he often rocked back and forth in the witness chair and appeared to be muttering to himself with his eyes closed. Deputy District Attorney Melissa Krum said Broussard was far from the perfect witness, telling jurors he was a sociopath, but, in effect, was chosen by Bey IV, not her.

“Sometimes you have to make a deal with a demon to get the devil,” she said in her closing argument, pointing at Bey IV as she said the last word.

Contact Thomas Peele at tpeele@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/thomas_peele.

Chauncey Bailey Project reports are also being featured at:
Center for Investigative Reporting
Maynard Institute
New America Media
San Francisco Bay Guardian

5 responses to “Former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV guilty for murdering Chauncey Bailey”

  1. GT says:

    Hats off to the jury who had to reach a unanimus decision to send these young men to prison…it couldn’t have been easy to sort it all out. Just left with an empty feeling in my stomach reflecting on how they wasted their lives and that of a Chauncey and others.

  2. Aunt Jo says:

    Thank God!!!! As I sit here with my eyes filled with tears knowing that JUSTICE HAS BEEN SERVED!!! Those left behind can now sigh a sigh of releif. It still doesn’t stop the pain of missing the loved one who was taken away in such an hainous manner, but it may bring some closure for some of us. Yes, holidays will still lack that special someone, Mother’s Day will be difficult, but JUSTICE HAS BEEN SERVED. I am eternally grateful to those men and wemen on the Jury. This could not have been easy. Thank you from the bottum of my heart.

    Aunt Jo

  3. Angus says:

    Blood is on the hands of the two senior SWAT commanders on vacation. For shame:

    Police had planned to raid the bakery compound the day before Bailey’s murder, but delayed to accommodate the vacation scheduled of two senior SWAT commanders.

  4. Hmmm says:

    First of all you guys don’t know any of these young men to say good job to the prosecution or jury. If you knew any of them, you’d know that some of these young men arent even capable to commit such crimes. Also, Beys death is not associated with the kidnapping that got some of these young men arrested in the first place. Please look past your swift judgement and look at the facts and statements. Yes, some are guilty, but all aren’t….

  5. Not Wearing Blinders says:

    This is more work of the corrupt government, racist law officials that run this world and that will not allow anyone ( Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King Jr, Muhammad Ali) to teach a black person that they are worthy of the same rights as whites and any other nationalities that allow to enter this country. They continue to destroy any positive figure in the black culture.They did it and that bitch ass prosecutor from the tv episode took pride in telling those bald faced lies.
    DON’T BELIEVE THOSE LIES. CB was doing things those crooket bitches forbid….
    Reforming young black men that this racist system made felons at young age. So sad.

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