After a lengthy police investigation that involved a number of questionable irregularities, a jury in Oakland, Calif., today found two men guilty of the 2007 murder of journalist Chauncey Bailey. Yusuf Bey IV and Antoine Mackey were both convicted of first-degree degree murder in Bailey’s slaying.
Bey was also found guilty of the 2007 deaths of Odell Roberson, Jr. and Michael Wills. Mackey was found guilty of Wills’ death as well, but the jury was hung on a count against him involving Roberson.
Chauncey Bailey was a widely respected local reporter and editor for the Oakland Post Group of newspapers, which was oriented toward African-Americans in the San Francisco Bay area. He was investigating the finances of the local establishment, Your Black Muslim Bakery, when he was killed in the street by a masked gunman wielding a shotgun. The man who confessed to being the gunman, Devaughndre Broussard, was an employee of the bakery. In exchange for a lesser sentence, he eventually testified against his co-worker, Mackey, and his boss, Bey, for having arranged and ordered the murder.
Bailey’s colleagues organized themselves into an ad hoc group to independently pursue their own murder investigation. The Chauncey Bailey project uncovered several pieces of evidence that were only later pursued by Oakland police. The CBS News program “60 Minutes” also investigated the case and drew attention to the irregularities in the initial police investigation. Bailey was honored posthumously with a George Polk Award for his coverage of his community.