Devaughndre Broussard, a 19-year-old handyman employed by a Black Muslim organisation, was charged yesterday with the 2 August murder of Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey. Police said he confessed to shooting Bailey because he was upset about Bailey’s investigating the finances of Your Black Muslim Bakery, the organisation he worked for. The police have not yet determined whether Broussard acted on his own.
Created to provide a service to Oakland’s poor, Your Black Muslim Bakery also operates a security service and a school. Broussard was one of seven people arrested during raids on the bakery and other locations the day after the shooting, but he is the only one to have been formally charged. Two other employees are being questioned about their suspected involvement in the recent abduction of a woman.
03.08.07 - Oakland Post editor is victim of “targeted killing,” possibly linked to his work
Reporters Without Borders is stunned by yesterday’s murder of Chauncey Bailey, the editor of the Oakland Post weekly, in Oakland, California. Gunned down on an Oakland street, Bailey, was known for covering sensitive issues. Some of his colleagues and friends believe his murder may have been linked to his work.
“We offer our condolences to the family and friends of Bailey, who took over as editor of the Oakland Post just two months ago,” the press freedom organisation said. “The Californian press has lost a leading journalist, while the local African-American community has lost one of its most active representatives.”
Reporters Without Borders added: “The manner of Bailey’s death was as shocking as its impact. It was a targeted killing carried out in broad daylight with nothing being taken from the victim. It has not yet been established that it was linked to his work, but this seems plausible. We hope an investigation will quickly establish the facts and bring those responsible to justice.”
Aged 57 and the father of a teenager, Bailey was shot on a downtown street near the Oakland courthouse at around 7:30 a.m. as he was walking to work. Witnesses said a masked man dressed in black walked up to him and fired twice. The first shot hit him in the back. The second one hit him in the head, and was fatal. The killer immediately took off. Police said nothing appeared to have been stolen.
Oakland police spokesman Roland Holmgren told the press that the shooting “does not appear to be random” while assistant police chief Howard Jordan said, “we believe he was targeted.” Jordan added that the investigators would “look at all possible motives - financial, family, work-related.” The TV network CBS quoted colleagues and friends as saying Bailey had been working on a “highly sensitive case.”
After working in television, Bailey was a reporter with the Oakland Tribune daily from 1992 to 2005, covering issues concerning the Afro-American community and local politics. He also wrote about corruption cases. He had been hired in June as editor of the Oakland Post, a newspaper geared towards the Bay Area black community.