Suspect confesses to Oakland editor’s murder

New York, August 6, 2007—CPJ welcomes the swift apprehension of the man who killed Oakland editor Chauncey Bailey. Following a police raid on Friday, a 19-year-old handyman at a local bakery confessed to the murder. Bailey was gunned down in broad daylight as he walked to work on the morning of August 2. 

“Journalists are routinely killed around the world, but arrests are rare,” said Joel Simon, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. “We welcome the Oakland police’s swift action in the investigation of Bailey’s murder.”

There have been few journalists killed in the line of duty in the United States in recent years, according to CPJ research. The last deaths came in 2001, when freelance photographer William Biggart was killed in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and Sun photo editor Robert Stevens died of inhalation anthrax in Boca Raton, Fla.

Reporter Dona St. Plite, a Miami radio reporter of Haitian descent, was the last journalist killed in a targeted assassination. He was shot at a benefit in 1993. From 1976 to 1993, 12 journalists were killed in the United States. CPJ issued its report The Unsolved Murders of Immigrant Journalists in the United States that year. All but one of the victims discussed had been immigrant journalists working in languages other than English, and few of them received any media coverage.

Devaughndre Broussard, a handyman and occasional cook at Your Black Muslim Bakery in Oakland, confessed to local authorities that he shot Bailey last Friday. According to the local press, Broussard said he killed the editor because he was angered by Bailey’s negative coverage of the bakery and its staff.

Bailey had been working on a story about the financial status of the bakery, which had filed bankruptcy in October 2006, said a source at the Oakland Post. Bailey had also reported on alleged statutory rape accusations against Yusuf Bey, the founder of the bakery, and support that Bey received from members of the community, the Oakland Tribune said. Bey died from cancer in 2003.   
So far, only Broussard has been linked to Bailey’s killing. Calls from CPJ to the Oakland Police Department were not immediately returned.