Chauncey Bailey: Two Years Later

Bey IV told Broussard he had to take the fall to prove his Islamic faith, Broussard testified.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    A memorial is set up Friday, Aug. 3, 2007, on the Oakland sidewalk where journalist Chauncey Bailey was slain.

    Two years ago today word began to break that a Bay Area journalist was the latest homicide victim on the streets of Oakland.  Reporters on the scene were told by police, "if we pull this yellow tarp back you would recognize the victim."

    That man was Chauncey Bailey.  A well-known journalist for the Oakland Post newspaper. 

    He was on his way to work when witnesses say a man carrying a gun and wearing a ski mask approached him.  Soon, two shots were fired and Bailey fell to the ground.  The gunman first walked away, but then returned and fired a third shot at point-blank range.

    The next day police arrested Devaughndre Broussard.   A 19 year old with connections to Your Black Muslim Bakery.

    Bailey was reportedly targeted for an article he was working on that exposed the inner financial workings of the bakery. 

    The bakery business was built by Yusuf Bey III. It was founded almost 40 years ago and became an institution in Oakland's black community.  It ran a security service, a school and other businesses but in recent years had become marred by connections to criminal activity.

    Broussard pleaded guilty back in April to two counts of voluntary manslaughter and accepted a 25-year sentence in exchange for his testimony against other people he claims were connected to the shooting.

    Most of that testimony was made public this past week when a judge unsealed the grand jury report on the case.  It gives chilling insight into Bailey's shooting.

    His testimony led to the indictment of Yusuf Bey IV, former leader of Your Black Muslim Bakery, and bakery associate Antoine Mackey. Bey and Mackey have pleaded not guilty to murder charges in the deaths of Bailey, Roberson and a third man, Michael Wills.

    Broussard said that he and his accomplices were given hugs by Yusuf Bey IV and treated to dinner at the International House of Pancakes as a reward for killing Bailey and two others. Yusuf Bey IV is Yusuf Bey III's son.

    Bey allegedly told Broussard and his alleged accomplice Antoine Mackey "I love y'all" when embracing them after hearing of the successful hit.

    Bey and Mackey have plead not guilty to charges of murder in the cases of Bailey, Odell Roberson Jr. and Michael Wills.

    Broussard's statement implicates Bey as ordering the killings, and Mackey as the getaway driver and trigger man in Wills's murder.

    Wills was apparently targeted for being "a [white] devil," and the grand jury testimony says that Bey threw up his arms like a football referee signaling a touchdown when he heard the news.

    The judge in the case said he expects Bey's trial to take place in early 2010. Prosecutors have said they will not seek the death penalty.

    In the past two years, the bakery declared bankruptcy and no longer exists.

    Bailey's legacy lives on in part in the "Chauncey Bailey Project" which began within a few weeks of his death.

    His colleagues formed the group to hammer home the point that, "You can’t kill a story by killing a journalist."