Chauncey Bailey Project

Former bakery leader ordered car shooting, Yusuf Bey V testifies

Yusuf Bey V (Oakland Police Department)
Yusuf Bey V (Oakland Police Department)

Yusuf Bey V (Oakland Police Department)

By Thomas Peele, The Chauncey Bailey Project

OAKLAND — In late 2006 Yusuf Bey IV ordered five of his followers at Your Black Muslim Bakery to find the car of a man with whom he had a dispute and riddle it with bullets, his half-brother, Yusuf Bey V, testified Monday.

Bey V said he had an AK-47 assault rifle and the other four men had shotguns, rifles and handguns. Cameron Cook’s car was shot scores of times.

“I had more rounds than anybody else,” Bey V said.

Bey V’s testimony came in the fourth week of the kidnapping and torture trial of bakery member Richard Lewis. Bey IV was indicted last year on charges he ordered that shooting along with ordering the slayings of three men, including journalist Chauncey Bailey.

The owner of the car, Cook, had fathered a child with a woman with whom Bey IV was involved. Bey V said his brother said Cook had “shot at the bakery” during a dispute, so Bey IV wanted revenge.

Bey V was clearly uncomfortable discussing the car shooting. He pleaded guilty last year in the kidnapping and torture case, and in exchange for testifying against Lewis is to receive a 10-year sentence.

He had just described a revolver he said he carried during the kidnapping when prosecutor Christopher Lamiero asked him if Bey IV ordered him to fire a weapon.

“I don’t understand the relevance to this case,” Bey V answered. “I don’t want to talk about my brother.”

“Did you shoot up Cameron’s car?” Lamiero asked. After a lengthy pause, Bey V said, “Yes.”

Bey V testified that weapons were commonplace at the bakery and he had seen numerous assault rifles, shotguns and pistols. Bey IV kept an AK-47 in his bedroom, his half-brother said. Bakery members routinely fired guns from the roof of their compound on San Pablo Avenue, he said.

In a recorded statement to police after the August 2007 raid on the bakery, Bey IV denied knowing of guns on the premises, saying he forbade them because that was the policy of his father, bakery founder Yusuf Bey, who died in 2003.

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