Bailey investigation leads to Oakland Police

November 5, 2008 10:37:56 PM PST
New details have emerged in the murder of Bay Area journalist Chauncey Bailey and how the Oakland Police Department handled the investigation. New suspicions rise over the lead investigator in the case and his close ties to a key suspect.

It's been over a year since Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey was shot while walking to work. It was a murder that police say was directly connected to his investigation into Oakland's Your Black Muslim Bakery.

Bakery handyman Devaughndre Broussard is the only person charged so far, but police say bakery leader, Yusef Bey IV, also was involved in the killing.

Now, as many as three different investigations are underway into the Oakland Police Department's handling of Bailey's murder case.

Focusing on whether the lead detective, Sgt. Derwin Longmire, was too close to the bakery's leader and whether he ignored key evidence linking him to Bailey's death.

The Alameda County prosecutor has launched an investigation. So has a police internal affairs unit. And California Attorney General Jerry Brown said his office is not just investigating Longmire.

"Whatever officers are under scrutiny. And if people make certain claims that they didn't do everything they should have, then that's a matter for internal discipline," said Brown.

During a recorded interrogation, Bey IV laughed when talking about Bailey's shooting.

In that same video he also said Sgt. Longmire was protecting him. Michael Rains is Longmire's attorney. He says there was nothing inappropriate about the relationship.

"You cultivate those relationships for information. It's really good police work and there's nothing wrong with that," said Michael Rains, Longmire's attorney.

Longmire remains on active duty, even as the department continues to investigate the now defunct bakery.

"I think there should have been an immediate decision to put the sergeant on administrative leave," said Ignacio De La Fuente, the Oakland City Council president.

Sources tell ABC7 News that not only are investigators looking in to the department's handling of the Chauncey Bailey investigation, but also whether top police brass knew about Longmire's close ties to Bey and ignored them.

In a statement, police defended their investigation and said "There is no evidence Longmire interfered with any criminal investigations" and that the department and DA "Continue to investigate Bailey's murder and to gather evidence to support future prosecutions, including evidence regarding Bey IV's role in the crime."

Longmire's attorney said the detective has yet to be questioned by investigators, but that he will cooperate fully.


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