Chauncey Bailey case investigator suspended
By Thomas Peele and Kelly Rayburn, The Chauncey Bailey Project
OAKLAND — Police Sgt. Derwin K. Longmire was suspended from duty Monday for his handling of the investigation into journalist Chauncey Bailey’s killing in August 2007.
Details of the suspension were sketchy, but Oakland Police Department sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed the move late Monday. It was unclear what administrative charges the veteran officer faces. He was transferred out of the homicide unit to patrol last year.
Longmire has been under investigation by both the police Internal Affairs Division and the state Justice Department since last year for his handling of the Bailey case and his ties to the former leader of Your Black Muslim Bakery, Yusuf Bey IV, who is jailed and awaiting trial on a host of charges, including kidnapping, torture, real-estate fraud, and assault with a deadly weapon.
The Chauncey Bailey Project reported in October that Longmire failed to document in his case notes evidence that pointed to Bey IV’s involvement in Bailey’s killing. Evidence not documented included a tracking device report that showed Bey IV’s car was parked outside Bailey’s residence fewer than seven hours before Bailey was gunned down in downtown Oakland.
KTVU-TV: Lead investigator in Chauncey Bailey case placed on paid leave
Longmire also never documented in his case notes the existence of a secretly recorded videotape on which Bey IV mocked and laughed about Bailey’s killing, said he hid the gun used in the assassination in his bedroom closet and bragged that he ordered an underling, Devaughndre Broussard, to confess to protect the bakery.
Broussard is the only person charged in Bailey’s death. Broussard confessed that he killed Bailey to stop him from “writing bad things about the bakery” and Bey IV, but he has since recanted. His trial is scheduled for next month.
On the same video, Bey IV bragged that Longmire was protecting him from charges. A confidential informant recently told district attorney’s investigators that Bey IV was overheard in jail calling Longmire a “sympathizer” to the bakery.
Longmire also took at least two calls from Bey IV in jail last year, telling Bey IV he wasn’t worried about criticism of their relationship and said he and Bey IV were brothers. Longmire gave Bey IV permission to use his photograph on a short-lived Web site put up by Bey IV’s followers called “Free the Bakery Brothers.”
Longmire declined to comment. His attorney, Michael Rains, didn’t return calls. Acting police Chief Howard Jordan said in an e-mail he couldn’t comment on a personnel matter.
Mayor Ron Dellums asked the state Justice Department to conduct what he described as “a concurrent, parallel” investigation of an Internal Affairs investigation of Longmire. Dellums also said he appointed former Superior Court Judge Henry Ramsey to serve as a “special master” over the investigation.
But reached Monday night, Ramsey said he only had one telephone conversation with Dellums’ staff and was never asked to do anything. He said he let the matter die because he didn’t think it was his responsibility to push for details about a job no one apparently wanted him to perform. Dellums’ spokesman, Paul Rose, said he didn’t know about Longmire’s suspension Monday night and said he could not comment.
Independent journalist Bob Butler of the Chauncey Bailey Project contributed to this story.