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Editor's slaying could be tied to reporting

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Aug. 7, 2007  ·   Oakland, Calif., police have arrested a man they say is responsible for the murder of…

Aug. 7, 2007  ·   Oakland, Calif., police have arrested a man they say is responsible for the murder of Oakland Post Editor Chauncey Bailey, who was gunned down in broad daylight last week.

On Friday, police arrested Devaughndre Broussard, 19, in the Thursday murder of Bailey, who was shot three times in downtown Oakland, Deputy Police Chief Howard Jordan said at a news conference Monday.

Broussard confessed to the killing, which Jordan said appeared to be tied to a story Bailey was working on about the bakery where Broussard worked, Your Black Muslim Bakery.

“The motive we believe is that he was upset Chauncey Bailey was working on a story to reveal some of the financial shortfalls of the bakery,” Jordan said.

Police had been investigating the bakery in connection with other crimes and arrested other members of the bakery on Friday. Jordan said Monday that two would be charged with kidnapping and robbery stemming from an incident last month. The group’s leader, Yusef Bey IV, is being held on an outstanding warrant and his involvement is under investigation, Jordan said.

He said investigators do not believe Broussard acted alone in Bailey’s killing.

“We don’t believe he worked on his own, and I can’t get into the specifics about who ordered him or how this plan came about,” Jordan told reporters. “We’re still investigating that part of the case.”

A police spokesman did not return a call for comment, but media organizations reported that Bailey, 57, was killed on his way to work at the Post, a weekly black newspaper.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported today that the son-in-law of the bakery’s deceased founder said he and Bailey decided several weeks ago to work together on a story about the bakery’s decline since Yusef Bey IV took over the bakery after his father’s death.

“I thought it was dangerous for him, not me,” the son-in-law, Saleem Bey, told the Chronicle.

At Monday’s news conference, Jordan said police will likely seek Bailey’s notes as part of their investigation into his death.

According to the Post, Bailey became editor of the Post and its sister newspapers in June. Prior to that, he was a longtime reporter for the Oakland Tribune and worked for The Detroit News, The Hartford (Conn.) Courant, United Press International, the San Francisco Sun Reporter and KNTV in San Jose, Calif.

Another newspaper has reported threats and intimidation after publishing an expose about Your Black Muslim Bakery, which was founded four decades ago by Yusef Bey. He died in 2003 while awaiting trial on charges of raping a girl who worked for him, according to news reports.

In 2002, Village Voice reporter Chris Thompson wrote a series for the East Bay Express about the Bey family, revealing that Bey family members had allegedly tortured a man for hours after a failed real estate deal and had sexually assaulted girls as young as 13. After the stories ran, the Voice said, Thompson had to go into hiding after men attempted to follow him home and he received death threats.

Post Publisher Paul Cobb could not be reached for comment but told the newspaper that Bailey was “proud of his new position” and “embarrassed and humbled by the respect and accolades the community gave him.”

“Let’s continue his legacy by being unafraid to print the truth — stories which need to be told,” Cobb said in the Post.

RG


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