Who’s in charge of investigating the handling of Chauncey Bailey’s murder case? It seems to be a political hot potato, according to a new article from The Chauncey Bailey Project.

The California Attorney General’s office recently sent a letter to Mayor Ron Dellums declaring that state investigators want to be present when Oakland police internal affairs detectives interview members of their command staff. But the Attorney General’s office will not take over the entire investigation, which according to the letter, is what Oakland internal affairs investigators requested.

The Oakland police being investigated by internal affairs include Detective Sgt. Derwin Longmire, the lead investigator of Bailey’s killing; his boss, homicide unit Lt. Ersie Joyner; and Deputy Chief Jeffrey Loman.

An article in the San Francisco Chronicle this week also added more details about police blunders in the Bailey murder case.

An eye-witness account of the actions and statements of Your Black Muslim Bakery’s leader Yusuf Bey IV immediately before and after Bailey’s shooting on August 2, 2007, apparently was put in a different case file. The eye-witness report surfaced two months ago when a prosecutor found it by chance after requesting access to the other file. The Chauncey Bailey Project reported that police ignored several key pieces of evidence, including this eye-witness account, in an October 25 story:

The Bailey Project has also learned that police have a statement from another bakery associate who said Bey IV called a meeting the night before the killing. He ordered his followers to pray for strength, said two police officers knowledgeable of the statement.

The bakery associate told police that Bey IV, Mackey and Broussard also prayed together separately and complained that they had to wake at 5 a.m. the next day. After the killing, there was a mood of celebration at the bakery, the associate told police. Officers asked that the person’s name not be revealed, saying disclosure could endanger the person’s life.

The Chronicle provided further details this week:

… A woman who worked at the black self-empowerment organization on San Pablo Avenue in Oakland had told police that bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV was in a celebratory mood at the news of Bailey’s slaying on Aug. 2, 2007.

“That will teach ’em to f- with me,” she quoted Bey as saying.

The woman also related how Bey was “not happy” with Bailey’s reporting on the bakery’s financial collapse, and said she had overheard a telephone conversation in which Bey and another man apparently were “scoping out” Bailey’s whereabouts the day before the Oakland Post editor was shot to death on a downtown Oakland street.

Hours before the killing, she said, Bey awoke at 5 a.m. to pray.

Oakland police admitted to the blunder Monday. Deputy Chief Jeff Israel told the Chronicle that Sergeant Derwin Longmire, the lead detective investigating Bailey’s murder, had been notified of the eye-witness account, but the detectives involved later decided the statement was not relevant to Bailey’s case.

“We definitely made a mistake here, no question,” Israel told the Chronicle. “It’s very troubling … After I’ve listened to the interview, it was obviously relevant.”

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