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Man reportedly admits slaying

A 19-year-old suspect in the fatal shooting of Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey confessed to police, a newspaper says.

August 05, 2007|Tim Reiterman | Times Staff Writer

SAN FRANCISCO — A 19-year-old man arrested in raids connected to a Black Muslim bakery in Oakland was booked on murder and weapons charges Saturday after he was reported to have confessed to the street slaying of a journalist in that East Bay city.

Devaughndre Broussard, a handyman at Your Black Muslim Bakery, told investigators that he shot Chauncey Bailey, 57, because he was upset with the Oakland Post editor's articles about the bakery and its leaders and was concerned about articles he thought Bailey might have in progress, the Oakland Tribune reported Saturday.

Police on Friday said that firearms recovered in pre-dawn raids of the bakery and three nearby residences by 200 officers were linked through scientific evidence to the slaying of Bailey, who was gunned down Thursday morning as he walked to work, as well as to two slayings near the bakery last month. The Tribune reported that police believe a shotgun found at Broussard's home when he was arrested was used to shoot Bailey several times.

Broussard and six other people arrested Friday were not immediately charged. But a spokeswoman at Alameda County's Santa Rita Jail said Broussard was booked there Saturday on suspicion of second-degree murder and a dangerous weapons charge.

Broussard, whose court arraignment is scheduled for Tuesday, also was held on an unrelated warrant on suspicion of shooting into a dwelling.

An Oakland Police Department spokesman and a homicide investigator who interviewed Broussard did not return calls. An attorney who previously represented the bakery's founder could not be reached for comment.

Violence is not uncommon in Oakland, a city of about 400,000 with persistent drug and gang problems. Over Friday night and Saturday morning, police said, there were three unconnected fatal shootings in far-flung parts of the town.

But Bailey's death aroused deep community concern because it occurred in broad daylight and involved a well-known, longtime local newsman who grew up in Oakland. He was the first reporter assassinated in the United States since 1993, according to the advocacy group Committee to Protect Journalists.

Bailey, a former Oakland Tribune and Detroit News reporter, recently became editor of the Oakland Post, a black community newspaper. Walter Riley, attorney for the newspaper, said Friday that Bailey had been working on an article detailing financial allegations against the bakery, which has filed for bankruptcy, but that the piece needed additional work before it could be published.

On Thursday, as police were quietly preparing to conduct raids connected to the bakery, Broussard went looking for the editor in a van, confronted him on the street and allegedly shot him, the Tribune reported. Later, police matched discharged shotgun shells at the scene to a shotgun found at Broussard's residence.

In recent months, the Tribune said, Broussard worked as a handyman and occasionally as a cook at the bakery, which was founded in the late 1960s and provided baked goods to natural food stores in the area.

Leaders of the Black Muslim group -- not affiliated with the Nation of Islam -- said they provide direction and jobs for youth, but the bakery's founder and spiritual leader, Yusuf Ali Bey, was charged in 2002 with forcing an underage girl to have sex with him in the 1970s. He died of cancer in 2003 while facing trial and additional allegations of abuse from other females that his group denied.

Two years ago, several members were arrested in the vandalizing of two liquor stores and threatening of owners who sold alcohol to people in the black community. Last year, Yusuf Bey IV, one of the founder's sons, was arrested on suspicion of running his car into a club bouncer in San Francisco.

The younger Bey was one of those arrested Friday.

tim.reiterman@latimes.com

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