Saleem Bey, relative of Black Muslim Bakery leader arrested when he didn’t show up to testify in Bailey murder trial
By Josh Richman, The Chauncey Bailey Project
Police arrested former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV’s brother-in-law Thursday for failing to appear as subpoenaed earlier this week to testify in Bey IV’s murder trial.
Oakland Police said they stopped and arrested Saleem Bey, 47, on a no-bail bench warrant late Thursday morning soon after he drove away from his Dimond district home. Officers said he seemed surprised but offered no resistance. He was taken to North County Jail in Oakland and is scheduled to appear before Alameda County Superior Court Judge Thomas Reardon on Friday.
Saleem Bey has told prosecutors he was the confidential source providing information about the bakery’s financial problems and Bey IV’s mismanagement to Oakland Post Editor Chauncey Bailey in 2007.
Prosecutors say Bey IV was incensed at Bailey’s past coverage of his father, bakery founder Yusuf Bey, as well as this new investigation, and so ordered bakery handyman Devaughndre Broussard to kill Bailey with three shotgun blasts as he walked to work in downtown Oakland on the morning of Aug. 2, 2007.
Bey IV, 25, and bakery associate Antoine Mackey, 25, are now on trial for murder in connection with Bailey’s death, as well as the 2007 slaying deaths of Odell Roberson and Michael Wills. Broussard, 23, began testifying last week, but the case was delayed this week due to an alternate juror’s illness; testimony is expected to resume Monday.
A copy of the minute order issuing the bench warrant for Saleem Bey’s arrest wasn’t available Thursday because courts were closed in observance of Cesar Chavez Day.
Born Darren Keith Wright, Ali Saleem Bey has said he adopted the Bey name in the mid-1990s after already having worked at Your Black Muslim Bakery for several years. He’s not a blood relative of bakery patriarch Yusuf Bey but is married to one of his daughters, Salma Bey — one of Yusuf Bey IV’s half-sisters.
Broussard told a grand jury in 2009 that Bey IV was livid that Saleem Bey was talking with Bailey and wanted him dead as well, but he didn’t want to incur his older sister’s wrath.
Saleem Bey was back in the news a few weeks ago as the head of a prominent North Richmond social services agency acknowledged having relinquished $175,000 meant to develop an “Eco-Academy” in the beleaguered community, saying she was forced to turn away the funds after Bey threatened her with an “organized attack” if she refused to hire him to oversee the grants.
Barbara Becnel, executive director of the Neighborhood House of North Richmond, described the threat in a letter to Richmond City Manager Bill Lindsay. Bey and several of his supporters acknowledge pressuring Becnel with a threat to picket and boycott her agency but deny any threat of violence.
Contact Josh Richman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at Twitter.com/josh_richman.