Chauncey Bailey Project

Commentary: Mayor Wants Follow-Up on Bailey Project Findings


Oakland Mayor Ronald Dellums said Monday he will ask for an outside investigation by either the state or federal justice departments into city homicide Detective Sgt. Derwin Longmire’s handling of journalist Chauncey Bailey’s 2007 killing, the Chauncey Bailey Project’s Thomas Peele, Bob Butler and Mary Fricker reported early Tuesday.

They had reported Sunday that the lead detective assigned to investigate Bailey’s killing ignored evidence linking Yusuf Bey IV, former leader of Your Black Muslim Bakery, to a role in the killing and interfered in two other unrelated felony cases involving Bey IV.

“The Bailey Project’s reporting has led to a police internal affairs investigation of that detective, Sgt. Derwin Longmire, and whether his close relationship with Bey IV may have compromised the case.

“Law enforcement officials said the investigation of the Bailey killing is in crisis.

“If Longmire is charged with administrative or criminal wrongdoing, the chances of convicting the one person charged, Devaughndre Broussard, might be jeopardized.

“At the same time, if a vigorous investigation of Bailey’s killing using the evidence Longmire ignored is not quickly undertaken, chances of ever charging others and fully solving the most prominent slaying of an American journalist since 1976 could be lost.”

The Chauncey Bailey Project is a joint venture between the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education and more than 20 other news organizations that came together to complete the work of Bailey, an Oakland editor and writer who was gunned down in August 2007.

A follow-up piece reported that well before Bailey’s killing, Longmire twice interfered in felony investigations of Bey IV, according to police documents obtained and interviews.

“In both cases, Bey IV was charged with crimes despite Longmire’s actions,” it said.


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