United States - Reporters Without Borders calls for a federal investigation into the murder of journalist Chauncey Bailey

    MONTREAL, Jan. 29 /CNW Telbec/ - In a January 29 letter addressed to the
new U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, Reporters Without Borders has
requested that the investigation into the murder of Chauncey Bailey be
transferred to the federal government. Impunity prevails a year and a half
after the August 2, 2007 shooting of Chauncey Bailey, the editor in chief of
the Oakland Post, and resident of Oakland, California. Recent scandals
involving the Oakland police department have already prompted several
investigations, including a wide-ranging probe by the FBI into many of the
department's high profile problems, among them the handling on the 2007
slaying of Chauncey Bailey.
    "The police investigation into this brutal murder has been unsatisfactory
in that the evidence, recorded by the police and uncovered by investigative
reporters, implies that the accused murderer is being used as a scapegoat by
the perpetrator(s) and/ or mastermind(s) of the crime. It also suggests that
local police officials may be protecting those responsible for Mr. Bailey's
death. The Chauncey Bailey Project, a cooperative effort between San Francisco
Bay area journalists investigating his death, has also recently revealed that
the delay of an Oakland police raid on a local business may have cost Chauncey
Bailey his life," Reporters Without Borders Secretary General, Jean-François
Julliard, and Washington DC director, Lucie Morillon, reminded the justice
    (Link to previous press release from December 19, 2008 -
    The co-signers of the letter acknowledged the "positive step" taken by
California Attorney General, Jerry Brown, when ordering an investigation into
how the case was handled by the Oakland police. However, "Mr. Brown may be
found to have a conflict of interest by investigating a police department of
which he was once in charge when he was Oakland's mayor," pointed out the
organization. It was also noted that the Chief of the Oakland Police
Department, Wayne Tucker, chose to submit his resignation just before city
council leaders prepared to call for a vote of no confidence. As he announced
his resignation on January 27, 2009, Chief Tucker acknowledged that "mistakes"
were made during the investigation of Chauncey Bailey's killing.
    "For all these reasons, we petition you to intervene, to conduct an
independent investigation, and to prosecute those responsible for the murder
of Chauncey Bailey," the Reporters Without Borders representatives said in
their letter to the Attorney General, reaffirming their support of the
Chauncey Bailey Project and the journalists working on the case.
    Chauncey Bailey was assassinated during his investigation into the
financial troubles of Your Black Muslim Bakery, a network of bakeries directed
by Yusuf Bey IV. Suspected of being the leader of the nefarious actions
practiced by the group, Bey may have benefited from the protection of several
local police officers while Chauncey Bailey sought to clarify the questionable
financial situation. Mr. Bailey's work to keep people informed and denounce
public misconduct represented the work of all journalists to maintain a system
of checks and balances essential to democracy.
    Proof is accumulating against Yusef Bey IV regarding his role in the
assassination of Bailey, but he still has not been charged formally with any
crime. A former employee of Your Black Muslim Bakery, Devaughndre Broussard,
is scheduled to return to Alameda County Superior Court on Jan. 30 to have a
trial date set. He had originally admitted to committing the murder, and then
recanted, stating pressure from the management at Your Black Muslim Bakery as
the reason for his false confession..

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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