Bailey’s killer confesses, says he’s ‘a good soldier’
By Angela Hill and Harry Harris, Chauncey Bailey Project
OAKLAND — In his confession to police, 19-year-old Devaughndre Broussard told detectives he considered himself “a good soldier” when he shot and killed journalist Chauncey Bailey for writing negative stories about Your Black Muslim Bakery, where Broussard was a member and worked as a handyman, authorities said.
Broussard, who also uses the spelling Brossard, was formally booked Saturday on suspicion of murder. He was already on probation for a robbery conviction in San Francisco, and also had a pending case on charges of assault with a firearm from a 2006 San Francisco incident. A failure-to-appear warrant was out for his arrest in that case.
He was taken into custody Friday along with six other people in an early morning police raid on the bakery and affiliated buildings as a result of a two-month police investigation. Broussard had been staying at one of the raided houses on 59th Street, its rear yard connecting to the bakery property. At the house, police recovered the shotgun they believe was used to kill Bailey, the 57-year-old editor of the Oakland Post newspaper.
One of those arrested in the raid was Yusuf Bey IV, son of the bakery’s founder, the late Black Muslim leader Yusuf Bey.
Bey IV was booked Saturday on a $375,000 warrant out of San Francisco stemming from an incident in which he allegedly ran over a security guard at a strip club. His brother, Joshua Bey, and two others arrested in Friday’s raids, are being held in connection with the July 19 kidnapping and assault of a woman.
The suspects could be arraigned as early as Monday afternoon. Attorneys for Broussard or the Bey family could not be reached Saturday.
In what may be an unrelated coincidence, someone fired a shot Friday night at the West Oakland home of a tax accountant for the bakery. “I don’t think it has anything to do with what’s been going on, though,” said the accountant, who asked to remain anonymous.
Broussard grew up in the Western Addition of San Francisco, police said. When he was 15, he apparently had an interest in finance, participating with other 10th-graders in a mentor program for disadvantaged teens at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, learning about the stock market and corporate analyses. He won a $100 savings bond in a competition in the program, according to the program’s Web site.
But during the past year, Broussard had worked at Your Black Muslim Bakery in Oakland as a handyman and occasional cook. He left there in March to find other employment, but with no success, and returned to the bakery about a month ago, police said.
He made admissions about Bailey’s murder to Sgts. Derwin Longmire and Lou Cruz on Friday night, telling police he killed Bailey because he was angry over stories the journalist had written about the bakery, its employees and leaders in the past, police said. Investigators said Broussard was also concerned about stories he thought Bailey might be working on. Bailey had apparently been researching a report about the group and its finances. The bakery was going though bankruptcy proceedings, authorities said.
Bailey, a former Oakland Tribune reporter who recently had been named editor of the Post, was walking to work Thursday morning when he was gunned down at 14th and Alice streets.
According to police, Broussard tried to track Bailey down that morning, stopping by the paper’s downtown offices to confront him. When he found Bailey had not yet arrived at work, Broussard began driving around in a van looking for him and spotted him in the 200 block of 14th Street. He stopped and approached Bailey on the street, shooting him several times with the shotgun.
Spent shotgun shells found at the scene matched the shotgun recovered at Broussard’s residence, police said.
Walter Riley, an attorney for the Oakland Post, confirmed Bailey had been working on a story about “the financial status of the organization” and the “activities of a number of people who were working in the organization,” which included possible criminal activity.
The Nation of Islam, a national organization for black Muslims, is not affiliated with the bakery, said Oakland Assistant Police Chief Howard Jordan.
For two months, police had been looking into the bakery at 5832 San Pablo Ave. in Oakland and its connection to separate incidents of violence, including a number of killings, shootings, robberies and a kidnapping.
Members of the Bey family appeared to be distancing themselves from Yusuf Bey IV early Friday evening. As of the past three-and-a-half to four years, the majority of the family was not involved in the bakery, said Shamir Yusuf Bey, also a son of the bakery’s founder.
During the bakery raid, authorities also uncovered conditions so unsanitary that the Alameda County Health Department closed the eatery. Authorities say, in addition to all its other troubles, the bakery may face hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines for health code violations.
In the meantime, Bailey’s family has arrived in town to make funeral arrangements. His father arrived from Texas, his sister from Atlanta and two brothers from the Central Valley, said the Rev. Jay Matthews at St. Benedict’s parish in East Oakland.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated for Bailey at 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Benedict’s, 2245 82nd Ave. at Bancroft in Oakland. The public is welcome. An educational fund is being established for Bailey’s 13-year-old son, Matthews said.