Homicide chief, detective on Bailey case being transferred to patrol
By Thomas Peele, The Chauncey Bailey Project
OAKLAND – The lead detective on the Chauncey Bailey case and his immediate supervisor, both under investigation for their probe of the journalist’s killing, have each been reassigned from the police department’s homicide unit to patrol duties effective next year in what commanders said were routine transfers.
Sgt. Derwin Longmire and his boss, Lt. Ersie Joyner III, will leave the homicide detail in early 2009. Internals affairs detectives and investigators from the California Department of Justice are investigating Longmire’s handing of the Bailey killing and Joyner’s supervision of that work.
Deputy Chief Jeffrey Loman, who was Joyner’s boss at the time of the Aug. 2, 2007, killing, is also being investigated.
Assistant Police Chief Howard Jordan told the Oakland Tribune in separate interviews that neither move had anything to do with the Bailey case or subsequent investigations.
Joyner, a 17-year veteran, “will excel at any assignment,” Jordan said, and is expected to be promoted to captain next year following his March transfer.
Longmire, a 23-year veteran, has reached the limit on the amount of time that department rules allow officers to remain assigned to any one job other than patrol duties, Jordan said.
Longmire told the Tribune he looks “forward to my new assignment.”
The Chauncey Bailey Project reported in October that Longmire’s case notes fail to document evidence pointing to a conspiracy to kill Bailey, then editor of the weekly Oakland Post, orchestrated by former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV. An attorney for Bey IV has described Longmire as mentoring Bey IV, 22, and being like an older brother to him.
Bey IV, who is jailed without bail awaiting trial on an unrelated kidnapping case for which he faces a life sentence, is not charged in Bailey’s killing. One of Bey IV’s followers, Devaughndre Broussard, confessed to shooting Bailey, then recanted, and pleaded not guilty. He is to stand trial next year.
Among the evidence Longmire didn’t list in his notes, which are required to contain references to all developments in a case, was a report from a tracking device showing Bey IV’s car was parked outside Bailey’s apartment seven hours before the killing.
His notes also contain no reference to a secret jail-house video that police filmed in which Bey IV said he put the gun used to kill Bailey in his closet after the slaying. On the recording, Bey IV mocks and laughs about the shooting and brags that he wasn’t charged in it because of Longmire.
Also, Longmire’s notes contain no reference to a statement that a bakery worker gave other detectives on Aug. 3, 2007, in which Bey IV was described as praying and plotting with his followers before the attack and expressing joy in its successes afterwards.
Both Joyner and Longmire are under a department order not to discuss the Bailey case. A lawyer representing both men, Michael Rains, insisted neither has committed any wrongdoing.
Following the Bailey Project’s October reports, Mayor Ron Dellums asked Attorney General – and former Oakland Mayor – Jerry Brown to investigate. The state justice department is conducting what Dellums has described as a “concurrent parallel investigation” of a police internal affairs probe of the case.
The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office is reinvestigating the Bailey killing independently of Oakland Police.