Mon, Aug 06, 2007 - Page 7 News List

Affiliate of Muslim group jailed in journalist's death

WEALTHY EMPIRE Founded to inspire Oakland's poor to become 'respectable,' the bakery chain expanded into security services, education and other businesses

AP , SAN FRANCISCO

A 19-year-old California man affiliated with a Black Muslim splinter group was jailed in connection with the brazen daytime murder of a journalist who colleagues said was working on a piece about the group.

Police believe Devaughndre Broussard was the masked man who shot 57-year-old Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey on Thursday as the journalist walked to work.

Broussard was one of seven people arrested on Friday in a raid on the Your Black Muslim Bakery organization, which consists of a chain of bakeries, a security service, a school and other businesses.

Gun recovered

Police said they recovered a gun during the raid linked to Bailey's slaying.

Also arrested was Yusef Bey IV, son of the organization's founder. He and the others were suspected of involvement in two older murders and a kidnapping that had been under investigation for the past year, police said.

The arrests marked a bloody four years since the death of Your Black Muslim Bakery's founder, Yusuf Bey, who opened his doors 40 years ago hoping to inspire Oakland's poor to become "respectable and productive individuals."

The bakery has long given ex-convicts places to work after being released from prison.

"This is not a reflection of Dr. Yusuf Bey," said Shamir Yusuf Bey, who, like all bakery members, takes Yusuf Bey's surname. "We are all sons of Dr. Yusuf Bey. He has taught us morals, he has taught us how to be advocates in our community."

Splinter group

The organization is a regional splinter group that is not affiliated with Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, though Shamir Yusuf Bey wore that group's trademark black suit and bow tie as he spoke in front of the newly boarded-up bakery building.

The once-thriving business has experienced legal and financial woes during an apparent struggle for control of the organization. Records show the company filed for bankruptcy last October.

The group has deep roots in Oakland's politics and for decades it played a positive role in Oakland's black community, said Cal State East Bay professor Benjamin Bowser, a sociologist who has chronicled the city's history.

Still, any goodwill that Bey enjoyed from the public began to wane in 1994 when he ran for mayor. He received less than 5 percent of the vote after a campaign in which he said women "belong back in the home" and that gays should not be allowed to teach school.

In September 1994, Bey's son, Akbar Bey, was shot and killed outside a club.

Bey's organization began to further unravel in 2003 when a teenage girl accused him of raping her when she was 10. She also claimed that Bey fathered her child.

empire

Bey died of colon cancer that same year. Waajid Aljawwaad Bey, anointed to lead the million-dollar empire, was found dead five months later. That crime has never been solved.

In 2005, the leader of the Bey security service was shot but survived during an attack outside his home. His attacker was never found.

Later that year, Bey's 23-year-old son, Antar Bey, the organization's heir apparent, was killed in what police called a botched carjacking attempt.

His brother, Bey IV, took over the bakery empire. But he was arrested and charged with being the ringleader of a Black Muslim group caught by surveillance cameras in November 2005 as they smashed two corner stores.

The men berated the stores' Muslim owners for selling alcohol to the black community, even though alcohol is forbidden by Islam.

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