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Journalist Group to Continue Chauncey Bailey Murder Investigation

Alex Constantine - October 14, 2007

October 10, 2007

More than two dozen Bay Area journalists have announced they are launching a project to continue the investigative reporting of Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey, who was shot to death Aug. 2 while investigating criminal activities surrounding Your Black Muslim Bakery. The move is reminiscent of the effort by nearly 40 reporters from 23 newspapers to carry on the work of Arizona Republic Don Bolles, who was killed by a car bomb in 1976 while investigating the Mafia. Here's an Arizona Republic story about that effort, which was called the Arizona Project.

Journos in Bay Area Launch 'Chauncey Bailey Project'
By E&P Staff
October 10, 2007

... Bailey was looking into the suspicious activities of the Your Black Muslim Bakery and the Bey family members who operated it over the past two decades. ...

Devaughndre Broussard, a 19-year-old handyman at the bakery, has confessed to the murder of the editor of the black-oriented weekly. But Project members noted that questions about the reasons behind the slaying remain a mystery.

Area Journalists Urged to Continue Bailey’s Work

OAKLAND, Calif. (KCBS) -- The publisher of the Oakland Post is urging Bay Area journalists to continue pursuing Chauncey Bailey’s search for the truth that ended abruptly when he was murdered execution style last week.

Post Publisher Paul Cobb is vowing Bailey’s work won’t stop with his death. "This is a moment of disaster for journalism, nationally and internationally. One of the few journalists ever killed on American soil and he was in the pursuit of stories that were controversial," said Cobb. "I hope that this is an opportunity for us to continue the work he was doing and to step up."

Bailey had been working on a story about Your Black Muslim Bakery before he was shot and killed Thursday morning near the Alameda County courthouse in downtown Oakland. Police raided the bakery the next morning and arrested seven people affiliated with the organization.

Police said the raids were part of a yearlong investigation into a variety of violent crimes, including two homicides earlier this year and a kidnapping and torture case in May. They also said they recovered a gun linked to Bailey's slaying and voiced confidence that his killer was among those arrested.

" ... the Mafia was infiltrating the justice system ... "

Oakland murder reminiscent of 1976 killing

Yesterday's murder of Oakland Post Editor Chauncey Bailey (left) by a masked gunman brings to mind the best known killing of a journalist in the United States, the 1976 car-bomb murder of Don Bolles (right), an Arizona Republic reporter who was investigating the Mafia.

His murder shocked journalists nationwide. Nearly 40 reporters and editors from 23 newspapers as varied as Newsday and The Milwaukee Journal descended upon Phoenix to complete the story Bolles had been investigating. The thinking was that that mob might be able to kill one reporter, but it couldn't stop 40 of them, backed by the nation's biggest newspapers. The result was a blockbuster series of stories on organized crime in Arizona and how the Mafia was infiltrating the justice system. ...

The Committee to Protect Journalists, which usually focuses its attention on murders of reporters overseas such as the beheading of Daniel Pearl, issued a statement yesterday expressing alarm over Bailey's murder and calling on Oakland police to conduct a "prompt and vigorous" investigation. The statement included these two paragraphs:

"Few journalists haven been killed in the line of duty in the United States in recent years, CPJ research shows. In 2001, freelance photographer William Biggart was killed in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, and Robert Stevens, a photo editor at The Sun, died of inhalation anthrax in Boca Raton, Fla.

"The last targeted assassination of a journalist occurred in 1993 when radio reporter Dona St. Plite, a Miami radio reporter of Haitian descent, was gunned down at a benefit. The period from 1976 to 1993 saw a total of 12 journalist killings. A CPJ report issued that year, Silenced: The Unsolved Murders of Immigrant Journalists in the United States, found that in all but one case, the victims were immigrant journalists working in languages other than English. Most received little or no national media attention."


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