Cops deny delay in raid on bakery
By Harry Harris, Chauncey Bailey Project
OAKLAND — Seeking to put to rest any doubts about the timing of the raid on Your Black Muslim Bakery, the Oakland Police Department strongly denied Monday it delayed the operation because a senior commander was on vacation. The raid took place Aug. 3, the day after Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey Jr. was slain by a bakery handyman, raising questions of whether Bailey would not have been killed had the raid taken place sooner. Police said the raid had been held to round up suspects in a May kidnapping and torture of two women. A judge signed the warrants for the raids on July 30, and police could have executed the raid anytime in the next 10 days.Arrested in the raid was 19-year-old Devaughndre Broussard, who confessed to shooting Bailey to death. He has since denied he killed Bailey and says his confession was coerced.
Also arrested were the group’s leader Yusef Bey IV, his brother Joshua Bey, and Tamon Oshun Taflin.
Police officials stressed again that because of the scope and size of the raid, which involved more than 200 Oakland police and officers from other agencies, Aug. 3 was the date chosen.
“We weren’t waiting for anyone to returnfrom vacation,” said Assistant Chief Howard Jordan. “I was never given another date.”
Jordan couldn’t recall exactly when Aug. 3 was set as the date for the raid, but said Monday he thought it was several days before the judge signed the warrants.
Once the raid date was set, notices were posted alerting officers the police inter-departmental softball tournament — also set for Aug. 3 — was postponed because many of the participants were going to be part of the raid.
Department officials have been asked before if the raids were delayed because of the absence of key commanders, specifically Deputy Chief David Kozicki, who was on vacation.
Kozicki acknowledged Monday he was on vacation until just before the raid, but said “that did not have anything to do with the operation. I could have come back at any time.”
He pointed out he was not the tactical commander. Capt. Rick Orozco was designated tactical commander for the raid.
In the past, Kozicki, a longtime SWAT team officer and commander, led numerous operations.
Kozicki said even before he left on vacation, “we talked about when the best day to serve the warrant would be and tactically Aug. 3 was the best day. Not only for the safety of the officers involved, but for the safety of the community and even the safety of the suspects.”
Police again insisted that before the Bailey killing they were not aware of any threats against him or that he was in danger by anyone from the bakery.
“We had no way of knowing the timing of our warrant served would have any connection,” Kozicki said.
Kozicki said all tactical issues — such as the placement of sniper teams — were not resolved until a few hours before the raid began.
Jordan said once the warrant was signed, by law police had 10 days to serve it.
“What if the judge hadn’t signed it?” Jordan said.
Police spokesman Roland Holmgren, who participated in the raid, said because of the number of other agencies involved “it took time to pull the resources together. We needed to do scheduling for other departments.”
Police from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, Fremont, Hayward, Livermore and Alameda assisted with the pre-dawn raid on the North Oakland bakery and nearby houses. At press time, the Alameda County Sheriff’s office could not be reached for comment.
The heavily armed police officers seized weapons from inside the bakery, spent ammunition from the rooftop and detained 19 people for questioning.
Police also raided homes at 1083 59th St., 1085 59th St. and 972 Aileen St. Police said the shotgun used to kill Bailey was thrown from the window of a duplex on 59th Street where it was recovered.