Oakland Post publisher gets death threat

January 17, 2008 6:41:40 PM PST
Five months after Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey was shot to death while working on an investigative report on Your Black Muslim Bakery, his boss at the paper is receiving death threats and is now under police protection.

Paul Cobb is the publisher of the Oakland Post newspaper. He came to work today, refusing to go into hiding, even with a death threat hanging over his head.

"Chauncey would not have wanted that and I wouldn't want that either, to be intimidated, threatened, so frightened to do nothing," says Cobb.

Chauncey Bailey was editor of the Post. He was murdered back in August. Bailey had been working on a story about the financially troubled Your Black Muslim Bakery in Oakland. Bakery associate Devendre Broussard has been charged with his killing.

A man who is now too afraid to speak on camera told us he once worked at the bakery and says two men he knew from there approached him at Lake Merrit yesterday morning.

"They walked up to me and asked me if I could set up Mr. Cobbs. When you say set him up? Kill him. They offered me a couple thousand. I said no, I can't do that man,"

Instead, he and Cobb went to the police and asked for protection.

Since Bailey's death other Bay Area journalists have formed the Chauncey Bailey Project to take over where he left off with his investigative work.

Dori Maynard, head of the Maynard CInstitute, is part of the project and says they knew it would be risky, but won't be deterred.

"We also felt it was extremely important to let it be known that killing the journalist doesn't kill the story."

Cobb says he is now reviewing security at his newspaper offices. Locks have been changed and a surveillance camera has been installed.

However, he will keep going, just as he did as a young journalist marching with Dr. Martin Luther King.

"You know, it was very dangerous then, and the role of a journalist and an activist, you're always in danger."

"The Oakland police department is not commenting at all about this. A spokesman told us they are not releasing any information about Mr. Cobb. For his part, Paul Cobb says he just hopes the police protection he's counting on, is there.