I don’t know how many people have been following the Chauncey Bailey murder case, but the reports I’ve been reading are unsettling, to say the least.
The story had seemed very cut and dried. Local journalist works on exposé of the Black Muslim Bakery and is then murdered in an ambush. Huge police raid on the bakery. Murder weapon found. Suspect confesses to police.
Well, as it turns out, now Mr. Broussard has recanted his confession, and last week his defense lawyer moved to have the case thrown out entirely. While the motion was denied, the legal issue may be headed for the Supreme Court.

In two tape recordings introduced as evidence Wednesday Broussard confesses to the murder, but his attorney claims he was coerced by leaders of the Your Black Muslim Bakery. Defense attorney LeRue Grim tried to have the evidence dismissed, but he was denied by Judge Robert McGuiness.
Grim said the tactic of police interviews without a defense attorney present is likely going to be carried to the state Supreme Court. “The interrogation room is the dark quarters of law enforcement right now in this country,” he said.
Grim added that when Broussard testifies, he will have the chance to explain how he was pressured into admitting guilt.

How convenient. I’m wondering what Oakland jury would now dare convict him, as people are scared to death of this politically connected group. And even if he is convicted, the case may be so hopelessly tainted that it may be thrown out on appeal.
According to a recent analysis in the San Francisco Chronicle, what is unraveling involves a sordid affair of high level police corruption:

Yusuf Bey IV, the young leader of Your Black Muslim Bakery, boasted to his followers that he had avoided being implicated in the slaying of Oakland Post Editor Chauncey Bailey because of his relationship with the officer assigned to investigate the case.
Bey IV’s two-year-long relationship with Oakland homicide investigator Sgt. Derwin Longmire had already paid off for police – the bakery leader had helped them get a confession in the Bailey case.
Bey IV talked openly about the payoff from his relationship with Longmire, a 22-year veteran of the department, while being held with two bakery associates in an unrelated kidnapping and torture case. Police secretly recorded the discussion.
“The reason they didn’t pin the (Bailey) murder on me was because of Longmire,” Bey IV, 21, told his two associates on the Aug. 6 video recording, which was reviewed by The Chronicle.
Three days earlier, Bey IV had helped Longmire to gain a confession in the Bailey case from Devaughndre Broussard, a 20-year-old bakery handyman. Broussard had been arrested in an Aug. 3 raid on the bakery the day after the slaying of Bailey, who was working on stories about the bakery’s problems.
Longmire arranged for Bey IV to meet with Broussard alone in a police interview room. In just six minutes, Broussard confessed, according to a police account. Police did not record that meeting.
On the secretly recorded tape of his meeting with bakery associates, Bey IV whispered to his followers that Longmire had made it clear that getting a confession from Broussard would “take the heat off the bakery,” which had been linked to a series of increasingly violent crimes.

Read the whole piece. It details a sycophantic relationship between the homicide investigator and the head of the group he was supposed to be investigating.
And why not? Didn’t high public officials sing the praises for the place?

Over the years, Longmire regularly visited Your Black Muslim Bakery on San Pablo Avenue in Oakland and became acquainted with Yusuf Bey Sr., who founded the bakery three decades earlier. The bakery earned praise from government officials, including a U.S. congressman who would become Oakland’s mayor, Ron Dellums.
“You always patronize the bakery, you and your partner, I believe, for a long time. … A good supporter, you know,” Bey IV told Longmire in the first interview police had with Bey IV following the Aug. 3 raid.
Lorna Brown, an attorney who has represented Bey Sr. and Bey IV in various cases, saw Longmire as a mentor to her young client during the past two years. This came even as Bey IV was arrested in connection with a series of increasingly violent crimes.

Remember the group’s brutal attack on local stores for selling liquor?
Once again, Bey’s cozy relationship has led to intervention on his behalf, which only seems to have enabled him to commit more crimes:

As the two developed a relationship, Bey IV had several run-ins with Oakland police, records show. Police say it was during this time that Bey IV led bakery members on a string of crimes that included robbery, vandalism, assault, kidnapping and torture.
In November 2005, a month after Antar Bey was slain, Bey IV assumed control of the bakery. That month, Bey IV allegedly led an attack on two Muslim-operated liquor stores in West Oakland in which the display cases were smashed up and a shotgun was taken. That Mossberg shotgun would turn out to be the weapon used in Bailey’s slaying.
Through a store videotape and informants, police soon identified Bey IV as having led the attacks, denouncing the two stores for selling alcohol to the black community.
Police records show that Longmire interceded on Bey IV’s behalf, apparently over the objections of the lead investigator on the case in the robbery detail.

Nice for criminal suspects to enjoy such protection, eh? Local stores are attacked and vandalized for selling alcohol, and the attackers are coddled.
Do I need to remind readers that Oakland is in the United States and not in Pakistan?
(What ever will I do when all sarcasm fails?)

Longmire’s actions, in effect, prevented Bey IV from making a voluntary statement about the case to Sgt. Dom Arotzarena, the investigator assigned to the vandalism case.
In his case log, Arotzarena recounted a phone call he got from Longmire four days after the attacks.
According to Arotzarena’s log, Longmire told him that Bey IV’s mother had called Longmire about the vandalism case. “Longmire asked me what he could tell (Bey IV’s mother) about this case,” Arotzarena noted in his log. “I told him not to reveal any details about the case, including the possibility of Bey (IV) being a suspect.”
Ninety minutes later, Longmire called back, saying that Bey IV’s mother had called him again and that she wanted Longmire to talk to her son.
The next day, Nov. 28, Arotzarena learned from his superiors that Bey IV had arranged on his own to talk about the vandalism case. It was decided that if Bey IV was “completely forthcoming with information,” he would be freed pending a decision by prosecutors, Arotzarena wrote in his log.
Bey came in, but instead of meeting with Arotzarena, he met with Longmire and then asked for a lawyer. Any hope Arotzarena had that Bey IV would make a statement about the vandalism was dashed, Arotzarena wrote.
“I never asked for Bey to come down to the Police Department during this investigation,” Arotzarena wrote in his log. “Sgt. Derwin Longmire organized his visit. Bey asked for an attorney when he got to the station. At this point, I never spoke to Bey nor told him that he was under arrest.”
Arotzarena declined comment about Longmire’s intervention in the case.
Although Bey IV was subsequently arrested in connection with the vandalism, he was soon free on bail, and he and his fellow bakery members allegedly engaged in an increasingly violent crime spree, police say.

The whole thing reads like a horror story, and while there wasn’t much national news coverage when the story broke in August, this time there seems to be even less. (Even the Wiki entry hasn’t been updated.)
Despite the fact that this involved a journalist murdered for daring to write about the group. (Hmmm…. Should have said “because”?)
What an unreported scandal it would be if it turned out that Bey was the one who actually issued the order to kill Bailey! That was what some police initially suspected last year:

Oakland Assistant Police Chief Howard Jordan said the day after Bailey was shot that police believed that Yusuf Bey IV, the son of bakery founder Yusuf Bey, was involved in some fashion.
But Bey hasn’t been charged and Broussard is the only defendant in the case.
However, Bey is in custody without bail on recent kidnapping and real estate fraud charges as well as several other cases, including one involving allegations that he and a group of bakery associates vandalized two West Oakland liquor stores on Nov. 23, 2005, because they were upset the stores were selling liquor in the black community.
Ironically, Bey and three other men are also scheduled to be in court on Wednesday for their ongoing but often-delayed preliminary hearing in that case.

As the saying goes, justice delayed is justice denied.
Christopher Hitchens pulled no punches when he wrote about this story in August:

If this isn’t softness on crime, then the term is meaningless. Residents have been complaining for a long time about the atmosphere of hatred and violence–and about what some have called the YBMB’s attempt to “cleanse” the neighborhood, either of godless liquor stores on the model of jihadism or simply of business rivals and journalistic critics. What were the police doing all this time, and why did Chauncey Bailey have to be murdered before they could be moved to act? Perhaps they were doing what they do best: confiscating marijuana and rousting whores so as to painlessly improve the crime statistics. I called Bob Valladon, the extremely rude and graceless head of the Oakland police union, but I didn’t even get to put my question before receiving a large flea in my ear. Other California law-enforcement officials were adamant in refusing to be quoted in any way. I can’t say I blame them: Thousands of their voters and citizens are living in Third World conditions of fear, with a “no-snitch” policy openly enforced at gunpoint, and they cannot be troubled to do anything about it.
This official apathy–amounting to collusion–is undergirded by a culture that cringingly insists on “respect” for any organization, however depraved, that can masquerade as “faith-based.” If I had stood outside that hideous bakery with a sign saying “Black Muslims Are Racists and Fanatics,” I think the cops would have turned up in a flat second and taken me into custody. I might well have been charged with a hate crime. As I have written before and am sure I will write again: This has to stop, and it has to stop right now, before sharia baking comes to a place near you.

With backing from your local police….