A barrage of startling new revelations came to light last week in the murder case of slain Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey. The most explosive is that Yusuf Bey IV, the alleged mastermind of Bailey's assassination, bragged that he would never be charged with murder because he supplied the lead detective in the case with girls for sexual favors. Yow.
If true, then for the first time, a plausible explanation has emerged for why Bey IV has escaped prosecution for a murder that occurred in August 2006. We already knew that Bey IV, the CEO of Your Black Muslim Bakery, and Oakland police Sergeant Derwin Longmire had a long friendship. But that never seemed to be reason enough for why Bey IV has avoided murder charges. But the allegation from a police confidential informant that Longmire got girls for sex from Bey IV is a different story. It fits with the bakery's sordid history. For years, Bey IV's father, Yusuf Bey, apparently forced young girls to have sex him.
We also learned for the first time a more plausible motive for why Bailey was killed, thanks to the terrific reporting by San Francisco Chronicle reporter Jaxon Van Derbeken, who has repeatedly been out in front on the Bailey investigation. Van Derbeken revealed that Bailey had been caught up in a power struggle inside the bakery between Bey IV and his step-brother-in-law Saleem Bey. The story also raised troubling questions about the judgment of Mayor Ron Dellums and Congresswoman Barbara Lee.
Since the day after Bailey was murdered, we've thought that bakery members wanted him dead to stop him from exposing the bakery's deep financial problems. But that motive also appeared weak. Van Derbeken, however, showed that Bey IV may have ordered Bailey's assassination in order to send a message to Saleem Bey, the leader of the rival faction. Bey IV was livid that Saleem Bey was Bailey's primary source for his story. Bey IV apparently also had been emboldened to go after Bailey after Lee aide Leslie Littleton helped him win the internal bakery battle against Saleem Bey.
Incredibly, Dellums later hired Littleton to be his deputy chief of staff. Sources tell us that she actually is the de facto chief of staff for the mayor's wife, Cynthia Dellums, whom many view as Oakland's second mayor. Call it lesson 574 for why Oakland is so screwed up.
Sex Enters BART Cop Killing
Oakland attorney John Burris, meanwhile, made explosive allegations of his own, when he said in court documents last week that an illicit affair between male and female BART officers may have played a role in the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant. Burris is representing Grant's family in a $50 million lawsuit against BART. According to court documents, it was a female BART cop who originally "got in the face" of young men at the Fruitvale BART station, including Grant, the night he was killed. The lady cop was threatening to Taser the young men, prompting Grant to get in her face. Her romantic partner then came to her defense and pushed Grant to the ground. The melee resulted in BART cop Johannes Mehserle shooting Grant to death while he lay face down on the station platform.
Burris hasn't named the female and male BART officers, but he said in a letter to BART police Chief Gary Gee that sources from within BART police have told him that the couple's relationship was "unprofessional" and "an open secret" in the department. Burris says he knows who the male and female BART cops are, and will name them when the time comes. The next question has to be — why are these officers still on the force?
It Doesn't Look Good for Gay Marriage
Proponents of state-sanctioned discrimination appear to be on their way to victory in the state Supreme Court. At last week's historic hearing, it looked like the high court is ready to uphold Proposition 8, thereby keeping gay marriage illegal in California. The key to the hearing was Justice Joyce Kennard, one of the four justices who voted last year to legalize same-sex nuptials. It was clear that Kennard intends to affirm Prop. 8 and bow to the majority of state voters. That means gay marriage supporters have to hope that one of the justices who voted last year against gay marriage will switch his or her vote — a highly unlikely scenario. Ugh.
Three Dot Roundup
Owners of the San Francisco Chronicle said they plan to cut 150 to 225 jobs in the coming weeks, including more than half of the newsroom staff, and apparently have tabled plans to sell or close the paper. ... Oakland Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper is presumed dead after being lost at sea during a fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico, off the Florida coast. ... Oakland police cracked a huge cockfighting ring in East Oakland. ... It looks like we're headed for another local salmon fishing ban this year. ... Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's approval ratings dropped to an all-time low of 38 percent. ... Newly released secret memos provide more evidence for why notorious UC Berkeley law professor John Yoo should be disbarred and fired. ... Berkeley's independent publisher Ten Speed Press was gobbled up by publishing giant Random House. ... And finally, the state controller says the bad economy is going to make California's budget problems worse.
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