The Garbled Messenger: 12 Years After the Murder of Chauncey Bailey, Questions Remain about the Role of the OPD and FBI

Posted on September 4, 2019

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In 2012, Thomas Peele wrote the definitive book about the murder of journalist Chauncey Bailey and the Your Black Muslim Bakery, Killing the Messenger. But a look at original documents show Peele left out a relevant part of the story that puts the violence of Yusuf Bey IV and his predecessor in another  light. 

 

Black Muslim Activity

Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey was murdered 12 years ago last month, on August 2, 2007. It was a brazen, daylight execution. A clear pattern of escalation and evidence over years pointed to one suspect—Yusuf Bey IV, then-CEO of the Your Black Muslim Bakery. IV had ordered the execution and had it done through loyal disciples, as evidence would later show.

Though the CEO of the organization which had been a fixture on San Pablo Ave. for decades, IV had usurped his role through murder and fraud, facts that were well-suspected by those in the penumbra of the Bakery. Bailey, a reporter and Editor at the Oakland Post, was killed while investigating the Bakery, which had been in chaos since the death of its founder Yusuf Bey I. Internecine assassinations, fraud and brutal attacks of rivals and critics followed I’s death, eventually leaving one heir standing—Yusuf Bey IV, often referred to as simply, IV. IV likely assassinated his predecessor and brother, Antar Bey [who had assassinated his predecessor, Waajid Bey, shortly after the death of Yusuf Bey I]. The alleged murder of Antar was only the beginning. IV left a trail of assault, kidnapping and torture and directed the murder of foes and bystanders at his own whim and often with little apparent logic.

Bailey was the last casualty of IV’s reign of terror—IV had him murdered when he discovered Bailey had interviewed a long-standing critic of his reign at the Bakery, Saleem Bey. Just days after Saleem Bey agreed to be Bailey’s source for an article alleging that Antar and IV had used fraud to gain control of the Bakery, Bailey was gunned down in downtown Oakland on his way to work at the Post. IV could have just as easily chosen Saleem Bey, or killed both Bailey and his critic. The outcome where he chose Bailey was a literal toss-up.

Bailey’s murder was part of a clear pattern of escalation of IV’s violence. By August, 2007, IV had directed several murders already, and felt very comfortable killing a journalist in a broad daylight assassination. Obviously, he assumed the murder would never come back to him. But his sense of impunity in killing Bailey probably had little to do with his belief in his own criminal genius. It seems much more likely that IV’s faith emerged from watching OPD time and again go out of their way to avoid charging him, or his predecessor, despite more or less botching every heinous project up to that point, and incompetenly leaving abundant evidence.

IV believed he had an in at OPD and programmed his violent agenda accordingly. There are phone calls, recordings and documents that point to his belief that one OPD officer in particular, Sgt. Derwin Longmire, was a confidante, an intel source and a bulwark against prosecution. Despite all the raw information that immediately pointed to IV, it took years for him to be indicted. That’s because, as it appears from all evidence, the OPD delayed and even tried to completely avoid investigating or charging him. Today, IV is in prison and there are no doubts about who killed Bailey. But the legacy of doubts about the OPD’s involvement and its murder investigation still linger.

Killing the Messenger

Much of the this information—which is now entirely available from public state, local and federal documents—was introduced to the public not long after Bailey’s assassination by Thomas Peele and his fellow reporters in local newspapers and at the so-called Chauncey Bailey Project. Peele later wrote an ostensibly non-fiction retelling of the reporting, Killing the Messenger, published in 2012 which has become the official and last word on Bailey’s murder. It’s that book, with its cohesive narrative that has become the standard narrative of the Bakery and Bailey’s death.

Messenger has to be commended for its cataloguing of events and attention to detail, which create a competent boilerplate narrative. It’s likely the only account Oaklanders can currently read that puts the events in a tangible, easy to digest series.

But Peele’s book is also fatally flawed for several reasons. Charitably, Messenger is flamboyant, spectacular, and pointlessly fictionalized. Peele awards himself generous page space to recount his own biases and idiosyncratic, often ignorant, opinions and theories. These alone are enough to prevent the book from doing justice to Bailey’s memory, and the memory of other people terrorized, injured, threatened and murdered by IV. I suspect many of the assumptions, language and odd notions will make non-white readers feel at best uncomfortable with Peele’s intentions.

But there is a much worse failing to the book, and it’s one that only becomes apparent when looking at the full historical record–the documents Peele himself either had access to, or could have accessed. Much of Peele’s account about the OPD’s involvement and their investigation is often misleading and riddled with omissions. In many cases, it’s difficult to read these omissions as errors rather than deliberate misdirection.

Peele is clear about the fact that Derwin Longmire often appeared to have worked at OPD in favor of IV, and perhaps for his predecessor, Antar Bey. But there’s much evidence to suggest that protection and intervention on behalf of IV went further than just Longmire at OPD. Peele lacks curiosity about the web of relationships Longmire shared with his direct supervisors and friends at OPD headquarters, and to an ongoing FBI investigation of the Bakery that continued in one form or another for the four years prior to Bailey’s murder.

A generous reading of Peele might suggest these oversights were a matter of focusing on the murder, and editing out what Peele honestly believed were extraneous facts. But if anything can be said of Peele’s writing about the Bailey murder, it’s that he loved topics ancillary to it. These include a gratuitous 100-plus page freefall into a rabbit hole on a history of the Nation of Islam Peele is neither qualified nor required to tell. Peele also performs several deep dives into Bailey’s personal and professional life with an upturned nose and fine tooth comb, leaving very little uneditorialized.

Peele, in fact, seems burdened by the duty to announce his belief that Bailey was a hack, the Post was a garbage newspaper, that Paul Cobb, its owner, was inept and ill-intended. Peele calls Bailey a “poor writer”. Peel characterizes Bailey’s tenure at the Oakland Post, Oakland’s only Black-owned newspaper as the terminus of Bailey’s “long fall”. Much of Peele’s observations about Bailey are unnecessary and catty, like his claims that a “first year journalism student” would have done better work than Bailey.

One of Peele’s inexplicable, and extremeley subjective, digs at the deceased Bailey.

 

It’s not an exaggeration to say that these sidelines, his campaign against the Nation of Islam–combined with his oddly sympathetic biography of Devaughndre Broussard, the trigger-man that killed Bailey–make up the bulk of the Messenger’s 400-plus pages. Regardless of how much credibility Peele loses following these tasteless junctions, it can be honestly said that one thing Peele never worried about was going off on a tangent.

Given Peele’s fascination with so much extraneous character development, he shows a surprising disinterest in Longmire’s professional and personal life–and his relationships to Captain Jeff Loman, his boss and Lt. Ersie Joyner, his direct supervisor. According to their own admission, and observation of co-workers, the three had been close friends for decades. Joyner, in one interview, jokes that he called Loman his “wife” and often went boating with Longmire.

But we learn almost nothing about the personal lives of Longmire, Loman’s, or Joyner in Messenger. That’s simply inexplicable, because so much of the case pivots not only Longmire’s possibly personal relationship with Antar, and IV, but his personal relationship with Loman and Joyner. Both Joyner and Loman through their odd acts drew just as much suspicion as Longmire did. This isn’t a casual assertion, but rather based on two separate sets of OPD internal investigations that pursued exactly these relationships and initially found several accusations sustained.

Documents and testimony that were likely available when Peele was preparing his noirish book–and that are certainly available now–tell a significantly different story than the one in Messenger. It’s not only that Longmire looks even more likely to have been working in the aid of Antar and IV, he seems to have been doing it with the full knowledge and aid of not only major players in the police force, but also in direct line of sight—and perhaps with the help of– the FBI.

 

The California DOJ and IA Investigations into Longmire, Loman and Joyner

Without a doubt, Longmire performed a long list of bizarre and acrobatic interventions on IV’s behalf before and after Bailey’s murder. These became known through Peele and other newspaper reporters and the Chauncey Bailey Project. But these are in no way the only sources for this information. Rather, the scandalous circumstances and unquenchable scandal around Longmire’s blatant actions prompted OPD to open an IA investigation into Longmire.

Buckling to public pressure, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums also requested the California Department of Justice open up a separate investigation. Both investigations were cursory, poorly conceived and elaborated. OPD even complicated its investigation by inviting in a third party contractor, Baltimore-based ex-cop Wendell France—perhaps to appear especially diligent and free of conflict. France later admitted to having done no investigating of his own. The IA investigations were folded into the DOJ investigation, complicating matters even further. The poor quality of the investigations is likely a testament to how little any official party really wanted the matter investigated, and were simply looking for a way to seem busy in the midst of a bubbling scandal. The incompetent mash up of efforts was likely key to the success of Longmire’s lawyer, Michael L. Rains, in reversing Longmire’s discipline [1].

But though the investigations were perfunctory and questionable, they contain reams of depositions from interviewed OPD officers which fill holes in the story that seem to have been left intentionally empty. Much of that testimony, given in the months before IV was charged with Bailey’s murder, tells a different story than the one Peele apparently chose to unwind in Messenger.

 

The Inexplicable Absence of Jesse Grant

One of the most egregious examples of Peele’s omissions in Messenger is his decision to edit out a main source of suspicion of Longmire at OPD, former OPD Officer Jesse Grant, whose complaints about Longmire’s actions triggered the IA investigation in the first place.

Grant also played a pivotal role in the Bailey murder investigation. It’s Grant, in fact, who secured key evidence that would one day be used to charge IV with Bailey’s murder. Several days after the murder of Bailey, Grant put IV in a room with his confederates in the parallel investigation of a kidnapping IV was involved in. Secretly recorded, IV incriminated himself.

Longmire, in turn, had already by this time fixed Bailey’s murder soley onto Broussard, the trigger-man, where it would remain bottled up for nearly two years. He did this with ample help from IV. The day after Bailey’s murder, Longmire left IV in a room alone with Broussard, where IV likely coerced Broussard into admitting sole guilt for the shooting with the threat of violence to his family, and/or the promise of light sentencing and/or high-priced lawyers.

Embarrassingly for Longmire, however, not only did Grant’s recording now point suspicion at IV, it also caught IV claiming Longmire was shielding him from the brunt of the Bailey investigation. This only fed Grant’s suspicions about Longmire. He had already noticed odd interventions into his kidnapping case from Longmire–like Longmire trying to interact with suspects and witnesses in his investigation.

Much of the broad strokes of this story are in Messenger except for one gigantic detail–Jesse Grant. Grant is not mentioned anywhere in Messenger. And that’s odd, because Grant had an outsized role in calling suspicion not only to Longmire, but Joyner and Loman. It’s clear from his transcribed IA testimony Grant believed that Longmire was being protected by his superiors as he acted on behalf of IV. But Peele never mentions Grant, not by name, not even for literally breaking the IV case–something even his detractors in interviews seem happy to give Grant credit for.

According to Grant, he began to experience problems at OPD when he complained to his boss–Loman–about Longmire’s odd behavior in his case. He then suspected that Loman told Longmire about his private complaints when Longmire’s attitude toward him changed. Grant wasn’t alone in his suspicions of a chain of communication between Longmire and Loman. Lt. Mike Yoell also believed that Loman and Longmire were sharing information about the Bakery case to such an extent that he became wary of sharing anything with Loman [2].

 

InkedI was concerned about Loman's Relationship with Longmire_LI

Yoell's Fears About Loman's Contact with Longmire

 

Grant also suspected that Loman and/or Longmire had told Joyner about the complaints. Both Loman and Longmire would have known Joyner also had the power to frustrate Grant’s career trajectory, as Grant was applying for an open position in Homicide, then run by Joyner. Grant recounts an unofficial meeting where Joyner cornered him and told him that he would never accept him in Homicide and pointedly linked it to Grant’s complaints about Longmire—Joyner admitted the conversation occurred. Joyner also admits to having a similar conversation about Grant with Yoell, a member of the hiring committee who was recommending Grant. Loman was also on the Homicide hiring committee, but never intervened on Grant’s behalf against Joyner’s clearly improper actions. That suggests Loman’s complicity or even direction.

InkedGrant Goes To Loman_LI

 

Given Joyner’s seniority and influence, and his relationship with Loman, it’s likely Grant understood that his tenure at OPD would be fraught and frustrating moving forward. Though Longmire’s attorney later used inaccuracies in Grant’s testimony to claim Grant had fabricated the entire story, Grant is a rather solid source in this context. Grant was a lifelong Oakland native, and started at OPD at the age of 15 in its Explorer program. He became a cadet, and worked his way from patrol to investigator. His commitment to his work at OPD is attested to by his colleagues—even Joyner sings Grant’s professional praises in his DOJ testimony.

Grant was on the Sergeants list and was one of the top candidates for the opening in Joyner’s Homicide department–an upward move for Grant, if not an outright promotion. According to Joyner, in his DOJ interview, Loman, a decades long friend and former Homicide partner, was key to Joyner’s return to Homicide when the current head of the department was about to leave–Joyner was quickly elevated to head of the department and rank of Lieutenant. That’s another incredibly important detail that Peele–who leaves no stone unturned digging into Bailey’s entanglements–leaves out. If it’s a contest of credibility, both Loman and Longmire were subsequently accused of more abuses of authority–and Longmire was disciplined for 10 other improper homicide investigations after Joyner left his position [3].

 

 

Grant Says it was retaliation

 

 

Grant abandoned a promising career at OPD in the months after Bailey’s murder, and during Longmire’s investigation of it, to work at Berkeley PD—an otherwise inexplicable downward move in both status and pay. In his IA testimony, Grant claims that he had fears for his life. It’s not clear whether he attributed these fears to forces within the department, but it is likely he felt the high profile investigation of IV, put his life in danger and that he had insufficient confidence in OPD to protect him.

Grant was, for all intents and purposes, forced out of OPD by his superiors after complaining about Longmire’s specific interference in the IV cases. Despite this being a spectacular twist in the OPD thread of the narrative—one that suggests Longmire was not alone in his attempts to misdirect Bailey’s murder investigation–it doesn’t appear in Messenger, and there can be no other explanation other than Peele ignored it deliberately.

Loman’s FBI Connection Erased

Peele missed so much more. One of the key illustrative events in the Longmire-Bailey murder timeline comes in the course of a liquor store robbery investigation where IV was implicated, two years before the murder of Bailey. Though IV is on video at the scene and has warrants for his arrest elsewhere, IV is allowed to dictate the way he will enter and leave OPD HQ. To make IV’s free jail card more outrageous, during the robbery, IV and his accomplices stole a sawed-off shotgun [the weapon that would eventually be used to kill Bailey]. Though Peele adequately describes how unusual the situation was, he seems to have deliberately misled readers about the context of the events.

The investigating officer for the liqor store robbery was Dominique Arotzarena. In Messenger, Peele describes the scene when Arotzarena is called before superiors to discuss Bey, writing that Artozarena was “summoned upstairs” for a meeting with then Deputy Police Chief Jordan and Loman. There, Peele explains, Arotzarena was told how IV would be coming in to give a statement on the liquor store robbery.

But according to Artozarena’s IA interview, the meeting took place not in the administrative offices of the OPD, but in the offices of the FBI, with FBI agents, and an OPD Intelligence Division member present. Arotzarena mentions the FBI, and the meeting in their offices several times in his interview—explaining that the case had attracted the FBI’s attention, and describing his embarrassment before the FBI agents as Loman usurped his investigation. Far from being surprised that the case had attracted the attention of the FBI, Arotzarena thought it was completely appropriate, given the stolen shotgun, and a possibly related case of arson a day later.

2019-09-03_18-38-35

Peele’s description of the meeting where Arotzarena is told IV will be coming to the station. Peele refers to the location as “upstairs” at the Police Administration Building

 

 

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It’s a remarkable detail to leave out of Messenger. In the book, Peele backs Longmire’s claim that he was ordered by Loman, who was seemingly acting under his own discretion, to bring in IV and shepherd him through the process. But clearly, Loman had at least discussed this move with the present FBI special agents, and the OPD Intelligence officer. It’s possible that this was not even Loman’s decision, but that it came from within the Bureau. Having the meeting at FBI certainly suggests that. Loman downgraded the case to vandalism, IV was allowed to post bail, and the stolen shotgun that would eventually kill Bailey was not included in the charges, nor in further investigation. And this apparently all occurred under the watchful eye of the FBI.

Peele expresses a sympathetic nod to Loman’s excuse for why he didn’t pursue a robbery charge and investigation into the stolen sawed-off shotgun that eventually killed Bailey. In other IA and DOJ interviews, officers stress the importance to characterize the liquor store incident as a robbery investigation, specifically because a lethal weapon was stolen and on the street. Peele ends the chapter by deliberately centering Loman’s disinterest in recovering the shotgun and posits it as an understandable war-weary view that one more gun wouldn’t make a difference in Oakland.

2019-09-03_19-04-38

Inscrutably, Peele provides a convenient excuse for why Loman and the FBI would not have gone after the stolen shotgun. It makes little sense.

 

The interference of Longmire’s friend and boss–and the participation of the FBI–in downgrading the investigation where Bailey’s murder weapon was stolen is a detail that can’t be over-stated, and yet its missing in Messenger.

Years of FBI Operation, Surveillance, Investigation

In fact, the FBI’s involvement in the liquor store robbery was not an isolated incident. The FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies had a far deeper level of interest and involvement with the Bakery and it had started years earlier. Though there’s no mention of it in Messenger, FOIA’d documents reveal that the FBI investigated the Bakery throughout its most tumultuous years starting in 2003, just weeks before Yusuf Bey I died of cancer on September 30 [4].

2019-09-02_01-02-28

 

Though heavily redacted, the documents suggest a timeline and copious involvement in investigations and operations by the FBI, OPD and an impressive set of other federal law enforcement agencies. They also show that key figures in the Bakery were the main subject of the investigation. The focus changed with the passing of each leader–first Bey 1, then Waajid, then Antar, and one would assume  IV–though oddly, IV’s name is redacted from almost every document in the dump.

Peele’s version of the story lacks even a hint of FBI involvement in the Bakery investigations. And that’s even more inscrutable because he apparently relied on FOIA’d FBI documents for his mostly irrelevant examination of the Nation of Islam. That Peele used FOIA’d documents relating to the Nation of Islam decades past, but didn’t think to do so for the Bakery is beyond belief. By itself, it calls into question Messenger‘s factual value.

The Scope:

The documents reveal that the FBI partnered not only with OPD on the Bakery operations, but with the ALCO Sherriff, and even other federal agencies sporadically: the Secret Service; IRS; US Attorney; ATF. It’s not clear how consistent this level of effort and focus of manpower was, but reports and attendance sheets from the taskforce meetings reveal that at times as many as four FBI agents, as well as ATF and US Attorney’s office staff attended, and naturally various OPD officers.

ATF_OPD_FBI_2004

An aerial recognizance photo accompanies one report, and Travis Air Force Base is mentioned in at least one document. Joining Joyner’s vague comments about a taskforce in which the FBI was present leading up to the Bailey murder, it’s clear that meetings with the organizations were relatively frequent. An FBI surveillance record clearly shows that both OPD and the FBI were surveilling the Bakery building in the months leading to Waajid’s disappearance, and that quite a lot of personnell were involved from both agencies, and the ATF.

 

The Timeline:

The documents show that the FBI investigations began as a Joint Terrorism Task Force operation alongside OPD in 2003. At the beginning of the FBI’s involvement, none other than Longmire was the head of OPD’s Intelligence—Longmire and other sources claim it was Longmire who asked for FBI involvement at the Intelligence Division. Shortly thereafter, Waajid was murdered and Longmire left the Intelligence Division. There’s not enough room here to go into the disturbingly racist and discriminatory way both the FBI and OPD were marshalling federal resources after 9/11–calling the Bakery operation “counterterrorism” and focusing the investigation on “Black Muslims”. That would take another essay. But like so many other things revealed here, it does require investigation.

 

 

Perhaps sensing how fraught with the potential of backfiring embarrassment this approach was, the FBI closed its terrorism-related investigation on the Bakery in early 2004, so that it could start a new operation, which began in late 2004. The new operation was structured as a gang taskforce investigation, and seems to have been especially focused on RICO and Racketeering charges.

gangs now

The FBI closes its “counter-terror” operation on “Black Muslims” at the Bakery and re-opens it short months later as a gang-related investigation.

 

During this time, the FBI participated in the investigation of Waajid’s murder, doing such heavy lifting as taking crime lab duties for the OPD investigation. These interventions went on for months after Waajid was murdered, long into the reign of Antar and IV, and apparently included DNA testing.

 

As had become a pattern after a surprising number of Bakery heads died within a short period of each other, the FBI would issue a communique noting that the focus [i.e. leader] of the Bakery investigation had changed.Though the FBI remained involved in the following months when Antar was murdered, references to IV are either missing, or redacted in subsequent documents [with one exception]. Regardless, despite investigating the murder of Waajid, keeping track of Antar and then IV, the FBI once again ended its investigation with nothing to show for it in April, 2007.

Just months later, in July 2007, the FBI began yet another operation in the midst of IV’s latest wave of violent escalation. IV had ordered the murders of Odell Roberson and Michael Wills earlier in the year, which were for all intents and purposes thrill-killings. Likely aware that these led back to IV, the OPD again requested FBI involvement. The FOIA’d documents claim that an Intelligence Division Officer initiated the request.

07 reopen

The FBI reopens its investigation into the Bakery, 2 weeks before Chauncey Bailey is murdered.

 

The FBI and OPD were paying special attention to the Bakery—and one assumes, IV—in the lead up to the murder of Chauncey Bailey. Yet, despite there already having been two murders for the summer associated with IV, there was no sense of urgency in the investigation. A raid planned for the night before Bailey was killed was cancelled, and there appear to be no hints that the FBI was involved in the planning, despite Joyner’s very lengthy description of how keystone cops the OPD effort had been.

The FBI remained involved long after the murder, well into 2008, as Broussard continued to be the lone subject of the investigation and indictment, thanks to Longmire’s diversion. But the FBI seems to have had no positive effect on any of the investigations of the killings around the Bakery. Though the records show high levels of involvement in the Bailey investigation, no Bakery-linked murder was solved with the bureau’s help.

 

Sign in Sheet for Bailey investigation meetings with the FBI show that the Bureau had at least three agents looking on as Longmire directed the investigation solely into Broussard on August 7, 2003.

 

The Bailey, Wills, Roberson cases—these were all solved through OPD police work and/or local DA prosecutions that were also out of the hands of Loman, Longmire and Joyner. Notably, the focus on IV happened only in the context of controversy over the ever-more public activities of Longmire in the case [and for this Peele and others deserve credit]. It’s worth noting that having accomplished nothing of positive value, five years of FBI investigations concluded just as the internal investigations about the Bailey murder at OPD began.

The documents clearly show the FBI/OPD taskforce actively surveilling the Bakery during the period when Antar attempted the murder of John Bey; when Antar had Waajid murdered; when IV allegedly ordered the murder of Antar Bey; when IV robbed the liquor store and stole the Bailey murder weapon; when IV was arrested for attacking a bouncer in San Francisco; and during the period when Longmire reportedly intimidated a witness to claim that the murder of Antar was a car-jacking attempt. But nothing ever came of the FBI operations.

IV had odd streaks of jurisprudential luck during this period–for example, as IV was convicted of a fraud case in Vallejo, the Sonoma County judge overseeing his case inexplicably released him before sentencing pending the outcome of a San Francisco trial that seemed unlikely to ever happen. The Vallejo incident clearly appears, though redacted, in the FBI documents.

vallejo

In fact, its no exaggeration to note that the FBI was aware of the circumstances surrounding every “odd” incident where both Antar and IV walked away from the consequences of their actions with OPD and other law enforcement agencies claiming impotence.

Rather than the police force disinterested in the Bakery because of political concerns and fears, a contention of Joyner, and one that Peele seems to share, it seems instead that the Bakery was a constant focus of the OPD and other agency’s interest for almost the entire 4 years preceding Bailey’s death. This is exactly the period when the spree of murders, torture, kidnappings and assaults began, with the death of Yusuf Bey 1, two weeks after Longmire involved the FBI with a “counter-terrorism” focus. Though the documents show an OPD and FBI obsessed with the Bakery, the agencies seem to have allowed IV and his predecessor all the room he cared to have with which to kill and torture.

 

OPD Officer Involvement:

The extraordinary years-long connections of the three most influential cops in the Bailey investigation to each other, to the Bakery and to the FBI, can’t be exaggerated. Longmire’s history gave him an unusually high number of fingerprints on the Bakery murder investigations. In charge of Intelligence at a time when it was working closely with the FBI on both the Bakery and the Waajid murder, Longmire would later be a homicide investigator on the Antar Bey murder, where records show he was able to extract confessions from Alfonza Phillips and his girlfriend Althea Foy –Phillips and Foy later claimed those were co-erced and that the thread led back to IV, who’d hired him to do the deed [5].

When Longmire stoppered the Bailey investigation with shooter Broussard, he also closed off the trail to the murder of Roberson and Wills–Broussard had killed Roberson at the behest of IV, and knew the details of the Wills murder. Given Longmire’s long detail of FBI-bolstered investigations into the Bakery, it seems extremely unlikely that he would have not suspected IV in the Bailey killing, and other murders, right from the start. It’s very hard to believe.

Loman, Longmire’s friend, was clearly involved in FBI investigations of the Bakery and leading up to Bailey’s murder–we know this from Arotzarena’s account that Loman had asked him to meet at the FBI offices, with agents, about the robbery where the murder weapon that would one day kill Bailey was stolen. One assumes that Loman’s decision to downgrade the crime where the shotgun was stolen, and to use Longmire as a sherpa for the investigation had to have been made in the same room with the FBI personnel Arotzarena notes were there—either at their command, or with their participation.

As the head of Homicide, Joyner oversaw the investigations of three murders eventually connected to IV. All were being simultaneously investigated by the FBI, but none were linked to IV under Joyner’s leadership–though they would be within months after he vacated the position. In his last months in the position, during the DOJ investigation, Joyner freely offers his belief that it would be difficult to link IV to the murders, even though IV would be through Grand Jury based on Broussard’s testimony, afterJoyner left Homicide. All that would look strange enough, but Joyner, Loman and Longmire pushed the only OPD investigator who’d ever linked IV to a murder out of OPD. This extraordinary web of actions by the three, combined with Joyner’s coincidental placement of Longmire in control of the investigation of Bailey’s murder are such an extremely compelling turn of events that Peele’s lack of interest in them can’t be forgiven.

Joyner had extremely close relationships with both Loman and Longmire, that he himself claims went beyond professional, and into the personal. But Joyner also had links to the Bakery that Peele inexplicably left untouched. During questioning of Joyner, Department of Justice interviewers revealed that an FBI PEN registry counted 300 phone calls from Joyner’s home to the home of the late Mustafa Bey, a notable Bakery member who fled the Bakery in the flurry of deaths.

Joyner, from his DOJ interview conducted in early 2009.

 

Joyner admits that his wife had a very close years-long relationship with Mustafa Bey’s wife, and attributes the conversations to the two of them. But notably, this comes after Joyner has already stated he had no recent relationship to the Bakery. Joyner is then forced to admit that at least his wife did at the time of the murder of Antar Bey had, when, he claims, he told her to break contact with the Mustafa Bey household. Obviously, Joyner understood his own relationship to the Bakery mattered, but Peele apparently did not.

Both Longmire and Loman had a relationship with Mustafa Bey, and Longmire, Loman and Joyner all corroborate that. Mustafa Bey was clearly not a member of IV’s inner circle or involved in any of the violence, and indeed, likely quit out of fear IV would also kill him. But it’s relevant all three of the most influential men in the Bailey investigation shared a relationship with each other and the Bakery that went back decades. Though Messenger seems extremely fascinated by any salacious crack in the public facade of its non-police characters–especially Bailey–this extremely interesting fact is inexplicably unexplored.

 

A Story As Yet Untold

This web of connections created by years of activity between Longmire, Loman, Joyner and the FBI can be seen strictly from the trail of publicly available documents. That Peele, who is widely regarded today as the custodian of the Bailey Murder story ignored much of the preceeding in his book Messenger can only lead to questions about how much we actually know about the OPD’s involvement and investigation. What this suggests is that the true story of the murder of Chauncey Bailey, and all that entails, has yet to be written.

 

 

 

Notes:

1. As just one testament to how much Peele leaves out of Messenger—during the investigation of the Bailey murder, both Joyner and Longmire were represented by Michael Rains. Rains had also defended the OPD in the Oakland Riders case, and later defended Johannes Mehserle in the murder of Oscar Grant. It’s a big detail to leave out, but Peele mentions the Riders or the Negotiated Settlement Agreement vaguely and in passing. The lawsuit settlement was already 4 years old when Bailey was killed, and 8 years and counting when Peele wrote his book.

2. Yoell’s suspicions of information-sharing between Longmire and Loman eventually began to extend to Joyner. Yoell claims in his DOJ interview that though he’d never had a close working relationship with Loman or Longmire, he’d had one with Joyner, and that it withered in the aftermath of the Bailey investigation.

3. Loman was demoted for sexual harrasment, and then investigated after an accident caused by his girlfriend, who’d been driving his unmarked police vehicle. Longmire was later sued by a female subordinate who claims that in retaliation for not accepting his advances, he deprived her of resources in the field.

4. These documents, along with others, were generously provided to me by Saleem Bey, the original source for Bailey’s still unpublished article on the Bakery. Years later, Saleem and John Bey, who could both have very well been murdered by the Bakery inner circle around Antar and IV, can still not interest local journalists in the documents or in the deeper story missed by Peele and the Chauncey Bailey project, for reasons that are extremely difficult to understand.

5. Longmire’s witness for the murder of Antar Bey, the girlfriend of the accused killer Alfonza Phillips, maintains that Longmire coerced her into putting the blame solely on Phillips.

 

Note: I caught some errors on a second and third reading, which I’ve corrected. Mostly just typos, and reversed orders or things that could have been edited for clarity better. The more important changes were that it was never proven in court that IV contracted the murder of Antar. I’ve changed this to alleged. In the Jesse Grant section, I attributed the interviews I used to the DOJ report, but they were from the IA report which was conducted earlier–at the time of both, Grant had already left OPD. The DOJ report took the IA report and folded it into its work, in any case. 

 

 

 

 

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