Commentary: It’s time for answers to questions about Chauncey Bailey’s slaying
The Oakland Tribune
Police documents, witness accounts and other evidence would lead most reasonable people to the following conclusion: If the head of Your Black Muslim Bakery, Yusef Bey IV, wasn’t with whomever pulled the trigger on the sawed-off shotgun that killed Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey in downtown Oakland on Aug. 2, there are very strong indications that he was probably involved.
So why, after nearly 11 months, hasn’t the Oakland Police Department charged Bey IV in connection with the journalist’s murder?
The Chauncey Bailey Project has accumulated a cascade of evidence that suggests that Devaughndre Broussard, the only suspect arrested so far in Bailey’s killing, did not act alone. There are also serious concerns about the close relationship betwee Sgt. Derwin Longmire, the lead homicide investigator on the case, and Bey IV.
Witnesses have told police that a white minivan was used as the get-away vehicle. The minivan’s owner told Longmire, the lead homicide detective on the case, that Bey IV had borrowed the vehicle from him between 5:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. the morning that Bailey was killed. Nearly a half hour after Bailey was shot, Bey returned the keys to the owner.
So where was Bey IV in between the time he borrowed the minivan and the time he returned it?
The latest damning piece of evidence is a police videotape of Bey IV with two other YBMB members three days after the trio was arrested for allegedly kidnapping and torturing two women, and four days after Bailey’s killing. Key segments of the videotape, which appears to implicate Bey IV in Bailey’s murder, were recently uncovered by the Chauncey Bailey Project and posted on the Bay Area News Group web site last week.
An Oakland police detective who was transporting the three men feigned car trouble and dropped them off at the San Leandro police department.
Apparently unaware that he was being videotaped, Bey IV told his fellow bakery members that he had kept the gun used to kill Bailey in his closet after the murder and bragged about playing “hella dumb” when investigators asked him about the killing.
What is most shocking is the graphic detail with which Bey IV describes Bailey’s shooting. He laughs and throws back his head, saying “Pow, Pow, Poof, ” relating how the journalist was shot in the face. In nod and wink fashion, he denies being present at the shooting, but says he went to the scene right after and “everything was kick-ass.”
Did the detectives investigating the torture case share this key piece of evidence with the homicide investigators working the Bailey case 11 months ago? If not, why not? How could such an important piece of evidence have fallen through the cracks?
Bey IV has told police and reporters on the Chauncey Bailey Project that he knew he was being recorded and made up everything on the video. But Peter Keane, a former member of the San Francisco Police Commission who reviewed the tape, concluded that Bey IV was in all likelihood part of a conspiracy to kill Bailey.
Neither police officials nor the district attorney’s office would comment on the video.
Law enforcement officials have continued to maintain a bunker-type mentality and refused to address unanswered questions and growing concerns that the police have bungled the investigation.
Nearly a year after Bailey’s murder there are still far too many questions and far too few answers. There are also serious concerns about Longmire’s relationship with Bey IV and whether the detective has protected the Your Black Muslim Bakery leader.
It’s time for the police department to publicly address the many troubling questions about Chauncey Bailey’s murder.
If not, it’s time for an investigation, independent of local police, into Bailey’s murder. We believe it’s time for the case to be referred to the Alameda County Grand Jury and let it decide whether or not there is evidence that Bay IV should be charged.