United States - First anniversary of Chauncey Bailey's murder: impunity still prevails



    Launch of a petition on www.rsf.org to call for "Justice for
    Chauncey Bailey"

    MONTREAL, Aug. 1 /CNW Telbec/ - On the eve of the first anniversary of
Chauncey Bailey's murder, Reporters Without Borders is very disappointed that
the investigation has not made any progress. Instead, the case has become more
complicated as aspects surrounding the motives for Bailey's murder have been
unleashed. Evidence, some recorded by the police and some uncovered by
investigative reporters, points at someone other than the currently accused
defendant as a potential perpetrator(s) and/or mastermind(s) of the crime, and
suggests that local police officials may be protecting those responsible for
Mr. Bailey's death. Reporters Without Borders also disapproves of Oakland
Police Chief Tucker and Deputy Chief Howard A. Jordan's unwillingness to talk
to the media.
    The press freedom organization is launching a petition calling for
"Justice for Chauncey Bailey" and urging the Attorney General of the
United States of America to take the lead in the case.
    "All those responsible for the murder, the perpetrator(s), the
mastermind(s) and those protecting them, must be brought to justice," states
Reporters Without Borders in the petition. "This important case must be taken
away from the local officials and brought to the federal level in order to
avoid further bias, pressure and conflicts of interests, and, to allow a
thorough and impartial investigation."
    "Chauncey Bailey was killed because of his work as a journalist" added
the organization. "Murders of reporters are rare in the United States. In
informing people and denouncing public wrongdoings, the news media play an
important role in the checks and balances that are essential to any democracy.
The justice system has to send a strong signal to those who would silence the
media, and show them that impunity will not prevail. We call upon press
freedom supporters to sign the petition to show public support for a swift
resolution of the murder".
    On August 2nd, 2007, Bailey, the late editor for the Oakland Post, was
walking to work when he was gunned down by a masked man in downtown Oakland.
    The day after, the police department raided the facility of Your Black
Muslim Bakery, suspecting some of its employees were involved in the killing,
as well as other unrelated felonies. A group of young men who worked at the
Bakery and were adopted by Yusuf Bey, the founder of the bakery, were already
well-known because of involvement in previous crimes, ranging from vandalism
to kidnapping. The leader of this particular group of young men was Yusuf Bey
IV, of the Bey family.
    Bey IV and others were apprehended that night. Devaughndre Broussard, the
youngest and newest member of the Bakery employees, confessed to killing
Bailey, after an unrecorded conversation with Bey IV without the presence of
an officer. Broussard later recanted and his lawyer, LeRue Grim, stated his
client's confession was coerced.
    As of Friday, 1, August, Broussard was scheduled to begin his trial on
19 September 2008 at 9:00 a.m. No one else has been charged even as an
indirect participant.
    Bailey's murder was prompted by his work as a reporter, specifically on
his story regarding the bakery finances and their possible link to police
corruption. The story was never published because certain information could
not be verified. Oakland Post's Publisher Paul Cobb received police protection
earlier this year after being told that a contract had been put out for his
murder.
    There has been growing evidence that the leading investigator,
Stg. Derwin Longmire, has been protecting Bey IV. Saleem Bey, Bailey's secret
source about the bakery finances, spoke about Oakland's Police Department's
reputation for corruption. Recently, a video recorded by a hidden camera at
the police department showed Bey IV describing in detail how Bailey was killed
but denying ever being at the murder scene. Bey IV also talked about
Sgt. Longmire's intention to protect him and the bakery. After the video's
release, Bey IV said he knew the police were recording him and that he made
false statements to mislead them.
    Alameda County District Attorney Tom Orloff stated recently that he will
not pursue an investigation about Bey IV's possible involvement in the Bailey
murder, because he already faces life in prison for other crimes. Orloff later
retracted these comments by saying that pursuing an investigation on Bey IV's
unrelated crimes would buy time to develop a case regarding his connection to
Bailey's murder, and that such information might come out during Broussard's
trial.




For further information:

For further information: Katherine Borlongan, secretary general,
Reporters Without Borders, (514) 521-4111, Cell: (514) 258-4188, Fax: (514)
521-7771, rsfcanada@rsf.org

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