Historic Collaboration of Journalists Report That New Charges Will Be Filed in the Murder of Chauncey Bailey

April 16, 2009

Chauncey Bailey Project Breaks News of Additional Charges in the Controversial Murder Case

OAKLAND, Calif., April 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Chauncey Bailey Project (CBP) today reported a major breakthrough in the murder of the former editor of the Oakland Post, learning that murder charges are imminent against former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV and another man after authorities reached a plea agreement with the only person who had been arrested in the case.

A trio of CBP investigative reporters wrote that Devaughndre Broussard, who confessed to killing Mr. Bailey and later recanted, has signed an agreement to testify that Bey IV ordered the hit to silence the journalist and that Antoine Mackey, another of Bey IV’s followers, helped carry it out. Mr. Bey IV and Mr. Mackey would face murder charges if indicted by a grand jury. Chauncey Bailey, 57, was gunned down on an Oakland Street on August 2, 2007.

Today’s story was another in a series of accomplishments by the CBP, a collaboration of journalists, media outlets and media-related organizations that have steadfastly investigated Mr. Bailey’s death over the last 18 months, seeking to bring his killers to justice.

In previous stories, CBP reporters uncovered serious problems with the Oakland Police Department’s handling of the murder case, forcing authorities to expand their investigation beyond Mr. Broussard. In fact, stories by CBP led authorities to suspend the lead police investigator on the case because of actions that may have obstructed the probe. The story published today in various Bay Area media outlets was written and reported by Thomas Peele, Bob Butler and Mary Fricker. It can be found on the CBP website: www.chaunceybaileyproject.org.

“The outstanding work by the Chauncey Bailey Project demonstrates that journalists will not stand by and allow the media to be intimidated by ruthless violence,” said Martin Reynolds, the Editor of the Oakland Tribune, who has worked with the CBP. “We came together for the joint purpose of finding out why our colleague was killed and ensuring those responsible were apprehended. It is gratifying to know that we are closer to our goal, and this hideous crime will not go unpunished.”

Sandy Close, Executive Director of New America Media (NAM), was instrumental in recruiting funders and organizations to start CBP shortly after Mr. Bailey’s death. “The CBP’s work exemplifies the quality of reporting that journalists can perform when given the resources,” said Ms. Close, whose organization represents more than 2,500 ethnic media outlets. “Our accomplishments should be a wake-up call to America that our society cannot allow media outlets, big or small, to vanish.”

Clearly, today’s story shows that the expanded investigation sparked by CBP reporting has also led authorities to resolve other murder cases linked to those allegedly involved in Mr. Bailey’s murder.

CBP reported today that charges are also likely in two other 2007 killings. Mr. Broussard is expected to admit killing Odell Roberson and testify that Mr. Mackey shot and killed another man, Michael Wills. Both Mr. Roberson and Mr. Wills were in slain in July of 2007 near San Pablo Avenue in North Oakland. Grand jury testimony is scheduled for next week.

In exchange for his testimony, Mr. Broussard would plead guilty to two counts of voluntary manslaughter and receive a set sentence of between 20 and 30 years, according to the CBP reporting. Mr. Broussard would also admit to killing Mr. Roberson at Bey IV’s order. Mr. Roberson was the uncle of Alonza Phillips, who was convicted of killing Bey IV’s older brother, Antar Bey, in 2005.

“When the Chauncey Bailey Project was conceived, we came together to show that when a journalist is murdered because of their work, other journalists will come forward and seek to ensure that those responsible are held accountable,” said Robert J. Rosenthal, who directs the CBP and is the Executive Director of the Center for Investigative Reporting. “This has been some extraordinary work, by some extraordinary journalists, who came together in a unique collaboration. It demonstrates the importance of a free media in our society. Our reporting has had a major impact and we hope that in the long-term the citizens of Oakland benefit from it.”

Dori Maynard, CEO and President of the Maynard Institute, praised the reporters, media outlets and organizations that have supported the project, offering special thanks to the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which has been the lead funder.

Other project partners include: Bay Area Black Journalists Association, The Oakland Tribune and Contra Costa Times of the Bay Area News Group, Center for Investigative Reporting, Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc., KGO-AM, KGO-TV, KQED Public Radio, KTVU-TV, Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, National Association of Black Journalists, New America Media, San Francisco State University Journalism Department, San Francisco Bay Guardian, San Jose State University School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists – Northern California Chapter, and University of California and Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism, New Voices in Independent Journalism, California Endowment and The Newspaper Guild.

“Our stories are truly historic accomplishments,” said Ms. Maynard, who has helped organize CBP. “There have been other collaborations after attempts to intimidate journalists. But none have been as broad-based as the CBP, and none have had to conduct their work while media outlets, especially newspapers, are in dire financial shape. I am extremely proud of those who have contributed to the success of this project. ”

(For broadcast or print interviews with leaders of the Chauncey Bailey Project, please contact Michael K. Frisby 202-625-4328 mike@frisbyassociates.com)

SOURCE Chauncey Bailey Project

Source: newswire

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