Video: Police link bakery to Calif. reporter's death

msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 8/4/2007 11:17:05 AM ET 2007-08-04T15:17:05

Police conducted a series of raids early Friday, including one on a bakery that was the subject of coverage by a journalist slain in a brazen shooting a day earlier.

Oakland police department officials said the raids were related to the shooting of journalist Chauncey Bailey on Thursday near the Alameda County courthouse in downtown Oakland, KNTV reported.

Deputy Police Chief Howard Jordan said 19 people were detained in the predawn raids on Your Black Muslim Bakery and three other locations. KNTV reported thatPolice confiscated around six guns during the searches, at least one of which came from the bakery.

He called the raids part of a yearlong investigation into violent crimes including murder, robbery and kidnapping. KNTV reported that the raid was scheduled prior to Thursday's murder.

Police had no motive for the killing but said it did not appear to be random. Oakland Police spokesman Roland Holmgren said investigators would look into any possible connections with Bailey’s work.

Jordan did not identify the other locations that were raided. A news conference was set for later in the day.

Bailey was a longtime reporter for the Oakland Tribune and editor of the Oakland Post, a weekly newspaper geared toward the Bay Area black community. He had been researching an investigative piece about Your Black Muslim Bakery, Post publisher Paul Cobb told KTVU-TV.

The late Yusuf Bey founded Your Black Muslim Bakery in 1968 as a haven for struggling families. It sells natural baked goods alongside books by Malcolm X and other black leaders.

Bey’s reputation took a hit when he was charged with rape. Most of those charges were dropped, and one was pending when he died in 2003.

Image: Calif. sharpshooter
Noah Berger  /  AP
A sharpshooter keeps watch atop Your Black Muslim Bakery in Oakland, Calif., following a predawn raid on Friday. Police called the raids part of a yearlong investigation into violent crimes including murder, robbery and kidnapping.
More recently, police said Bey’s son and other men had smashed liquor bottles in corner stores and berated the Muslim owners for selling alcohol to the black community.

Bailey covered the rape allegations and the vandalism, which led to charges against Bey’s son and the other men.

No suspects yet
Bailey was shot multiple times in daylight near the county courthouse, Holmgren said. Witnesses were cooperating in the investigation but there were no suspects yet, police said.

Holmgren said the weapon used was not a handgun, but he would not disclose the gun’s caliber.

Bailey was a familiar fixture on the local news scene. He was a reporter for The Oakland Tribune for more than a decade before June when he was named editor of the Post, a weekly newspaper geared toward the Bay Area black community.

Bailey grew up in Oakland and worked with several area media outlets, including KDIA radio and Soul Beat TV, a local cable channel.

IMAGE: Murder scene in Oakland, Calif.
David Paul Morris  /  San Francisco Chronicle via AP
Police in Oakland, Calif., investigate the scene of the fatal shooting of Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey on Thursday.
Before that, he worked for 10 years at the Detroit News.

‘He was a good man’
Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums said Bailey will be missed.

“It is a tragedy when any person loses his or her life by an act of violence. The crime and violence on Oakland streets presents me with the most painful and difficult challenge I’ve ever faced,” Dellums said in a statement.

Oakland Tribune managing editor Martin G. Reynolds called Bailey “a friend, a valued colleague and a loving father” whose coverage of Oakland’s black community was “a tremendous asset.” His death “has left all of us at the Oakland Tribune shocked and deeply saddened,” Reynolds said.

KNTV's Jodi Hernandez and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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