Yusuf Bey IV
|Yusuf Bey IV|
|Born||Yusuf Bey IV
|Criminal penalty||Life imprisonment|
Yusuf Bey IV (born 1986) is a convicted murderer and the son of Daulet and Yusuf Bey, the latter of whom was the founder of the iconic Your Black Muslim Bakery, a purportedly halal bakery in Oakland, California. Bey IV was born in Oakland in 1986. His life was marred by arrests and accusations of serious crimes. After his father's death, his brother's murder and the execution of an earlier successor, Bey IV assumed control of the bakery. But after a string of arrests ranging from traffic violations to forgery, grand theft, assault, and kidnapping, he was arrested and charged with ordering the murder of Oakland Post journalist Chauncey Bailey, who was preparing to publish a damaging article about the power struggle inside the bakery and its related businesses, and their impending failure. The crime occurred in 2007, and Bey IV was convicted of murder in 2011.
Bey IV lived a chaotic, violent life before his arrest for participating in the murder of journalist Chauncey Bailey.
Yusuf Bey IV grew up in what must have been a turbulent home. His father Yusuf Bey had several children with multiple women, and in 1988, when Bey IV was two, three of the women left the home and took their nine children with them. At the time of his death in 2003, Bey Sr. was said to have fathered 42 children by various women. He had one legal wife, Farieda Bey. Bey's followers and "wives" often took his surname, although no legal adoptions or marriages took place. Bey claimed he had "spiritually" adopted followers who used his name. People who worked for the bakery were considered "members" of the business and the mosque from which the bakery had grown.
Despite years of suspicion and serious brushes with the law, Yusuf Bey Sr. remained uncharged with any wrongdoing until 2002. In that year, he was accused of lewd conduct by a girl who had been a foster child of Nora and Yusuf Bey twenty years earlier. DNA evidence was conclusive enough for prosecutors to schedule a court date, but before the trial could begin, Bey died of cancer. Bey Sr. had spent years preaching Black Muslim sermons on Oakland radio, and the arrest and charge came as a somewhat of a shock to the surrounding community, who regarded the elder Bey as a local hero because of his renowned business, his support for black empowerment, his association with prominent politicians, and his supposed adherence to his Black Muslim faith.
Battle for control of the bakery
After the death of Bey Sr., Waajid Aljawwaad (who sometimes used the additional last name of Bey), a follower of Bey Sr., became the CEO of the business as Yusuf Bey Sr.'s designated successor. However, on February 27, 2004, Aljawwaad failed to arrive for work at the bakery. His body, bound with electrical tape and wrapped in a tarpaulin, was found in the Oakland Hills in July of that year. No one was ever charged with the crime.
Antar Bey, Daulet and Yusuf Bey's son and older brother of Yusuf Bey IV, seized control of the bakery. Antar's half siblings and their mothers protested and fought with him over control of the business, but to no avail; Antar was able to retain control and force them out. He soon took out $700,000 in loans that went into default. But in October 2005, Antar was killed in a carjacking in Oakland. Authorities suspected Yusuf Bey IV of ordering Antar's execution but could not provide proof. Oakland police charged a man unrelated to the bakery with the murder.
After this, Bey IV took full control of the business.
Bakery ownership years (2005–2007)
Bey IV seemed primarily interested in the profits the bakery earned and the power over the members of the business his father had engendered, not the day-to-day operation of the business. He alternately took money from the business and conducted various fraud operations to support himself and the business before it failed. His father, the bakery and its members had enjoyed years of protection from the media and politicians against bad publicity, investigations and even prosecution, continuing up to the lewd conduct charge against Yusuf Bey Sr.
After the death of his father, gaining control of the bakery and associated security businesses, and triumph over the feuding family members, Bey IV's crimes grew more and more serious. Despite several arrests, he remained free and flouted subpoenas and ignored court dates. His lawyer said at the time, "The view was, 'We're Black Muslims, we can do anything we want.' They got sucked in. I thought it was 'acting out' behavior. But it caused just a whirlwind of trouble."
Bey IV continued his father's practice of delivering fiery Black Muslim sermons to bakery followers. In one videotaped sermon dated to July 2007, Bey IV said, "We fight the government, we fight the police, we fight our own families, we fight our own people, and we fight Caucasian people daily—just to do right."
Some of the crimes Bey IV committed during this period included theft by deception and forgery involving the purchase of several cars; fraudulent sub-prime home loan applications; possession of a firearm after attempting to open a checking account using forged identification; and a bizarre kidnapping and assault on a woman Bey IV believed was connected with drug dealers who owed him money, or whom he could rob.
Below are some of the charges and arrests for Yusuf Bey IV.
- In November 2005, Bey IV was charged with grand theft for fraud connected with the purchase of a 2002 Mercedes from a Vallejo car dealership. He used a stolen identity to buy the car and pleaded no contest when the crime was discovered. A Solano County judge allowed him to remain free.
- That same month, a group of men in suits, presumably led by Bey IV, stormed two Muslim-owned stores that sold liquor. The men destroyed wine in cases and groceries. Bey IV later claimed, "If you say you're a Muslim, you should have the action of a Muslim," and that alcohol was "killing our people".
- In 2006, Bey IV was charged with assault with a deadly weapon after he tried to run over the bouncer of a San Francisco strip club from which he'd been ejected.
- In June 2006, Bey IV purchased a home in Oakland using falsified information. The sub-prime loan involved a first and second mortgage, and investigators later theorized the motive was to obtain money from the home's equity. The loan went into default in October. Bey IV used his own Social Security number but a driver's license with a falsified name for the loan paperwork. Later, investigators discovered that Bey IV and his associates had purchased a total of five homes, most of which were in default.
- That same month, Bey IV and some associates used false information to buy three cars from a San Bruno dealership, which later resulted in charges of grand theft. Bey IV used the same name to purchase the cars that he had used to purchase the house in Oakland. One of the accomplices later said he could not remember using a false name or several other details of the fraudulent car purchase or the liquor store vandalism, in which he also allegedly participated.
- In May 2007, four men and Bey IV kidnapped a woman and took her to the home of Bey's brother-in-law. The men beat the blindfolded woman and demanded money supposedly owed to Bey IV. While the crime was in progress, police saw a Crown Victoria, a car often used by police, outside the house and grew suspicious. Police went to the door and the men fled on foot, leaving their cars behind. The police confiscated the vehicles as evidence and Joshua Bey, Bey IV's half-brother, was arrested. Since the arrest, Bey IV has alternately admitted and denied various aspects of this crime.
- Bey IV wanted Alfonza Phillips Sr., the father of the man who killed Antar Bey, executed. But because Bey IV's accomplice Devaughndre Broussard could not find Phillips, Bey IV told him to kill another relative of the carjacker, Odell Roberson. In July 2007, Broussard, who was 19, found Roberson. Antoine Mackey, another member of the bakery, handed him a rifle, and Broussard shot the unarmed man. He said at trial that he had fired eight or ten rounds and carried out the murder "because Yusuf Bey IV told me to".
- Later in 2007, Bey IV, Antoine Mackey and Devaughndre Broussard were driving around Oakland discussing the "Zebra" murders. Bey IV or Broussard saw Michael Wills, a white man who worked as a chef, returning to work on foot after purchasing a pack of cigarettes. Bey IV and his accomplices discussed who should kill Wills and Mackey volunteered. He got out of the car and shot Wills six times. The three left the scene and returned to the bakery compound.
Murder of Chauncey Bailey
Oakland Post reporter Chauncey Bailey had written several articles about the problems of Your Black Muslim Bakery. Saleem Bey, a half-brother to Antar and Yusuf IV, desperate to save the business from Bey IV, went to talk to Bailey about Bey IV and the bakery. He believed both Antar and Bey IV had looted the business, but that it was worth saving, not only for the business equity, but for the stature it had gained in the community and its reputation for hiring black men who needed a job after serving time. By this time, the business was in Chapter 11 bankruptcy and was over one million dollars in debt.
The article was never published. As Bailey walked to work on the morning of August 2, 2007, a van pulled up and a man jumped out and shot the reporter. According to a witness, Sandra Moffett, the man had a "long gun" and ran "full tilt" across the street. She told police, "I said to myself, 'Oh my God, he has a gun.'" Oakland Fire Capt. Melinda Drayton said Bailey had been shot first in the back and then once in the head.
The killer was later identified as Devaughndre Broussard. He confessed to the murder, but after almost two years of incarceration, he agreed to testify against Bey IV in exchange for a 25-year sentence. He told authorities that Bey IV had a hit list of people "he wanted to get rid of" who had "done stuff to" the bakery and that Chauncey Bailey's name was on the list.
Indictment and trial for murder
A grand jury indicted Bey IV with ordering the execution of Chauncey Bailey in April 2009, almost two years after the murder.
A videotape of Bey IV in custody whispering to his half-brother Joshua Bey and another bakery associate, Tamon Halfin, and disclosing details of Bailey's murder was obtained and posted by the Chauncey Bailey Project. Journalists from the Chauncey Bailey Project created a transcription of the conversation which seems to clearly indicate Bey was involved in Bailey's murder.
After Bey IV was arrested, he attempted to first persuade and later threaten former bakery followers not to testify against him. Based on recorded calls between Bey IV and follower Kahlil Raheem, Bey first cajoled and then warned Raheem not to testify against him.
As the trial progressed, allegations of intimidation by Bey IV and other former bakery members persisted. The Contra Costa Times editorialized on April 30, 2011, that the intimidation must stop and that the judge, Thomas Reardon, along with bailiffs and the sheriff should get control of the trial to allow justice to be done. Some witnesses called to testify changed their story from the original information they gave the police or said they did not remember what happened. A man who worked at the convenience store that Bey IV allegedly attacked with his followers said he did not remember over 50 times at trial. Even Broussard testified later that he does not remember Bey IV giving him specific orders to kill Odell Roberson or Chauncey Bailey.
On June 9, 2011 Yusuf Bey IV was found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder by a trial jury which deliberated on charges from May 23, 2011 until the date the verdict was read.
- Mary Fricker; Bob Butler & Thomas Peele (August 2, 2009). "Yusuf Bey IV grew up in prominent yet troubled bakery". The Chauncey Bailey Project.
- Josh Richman (2007-10-19). "Bey IV's rap sheet spans wide range of criminal charges". Oakland Tribune.
- Chris Thompson (July 31, 2007). "The Killing of a Journalist". The Village Voice.
- Bob Butler & Thomas Peele (2008-03-25). "Police reopen 68 case similar to Bailey slaying". Oakland Tribune.
- Chris Thompson (November 22, 2002). "How Official Oakland Kept the Bey Empire Going: Blood & Money, Part Two: The Influence". East Bay Express.
- Erin McCormick & Jaxon Van Derbeken (October 8, 2007). "A Father's Fiefdom Reduced To Ruin". San Francisco Chronicle.
- Bob Butler (March 23, 2011). "Chauncey Bailey Murder Trial, Day One". WordPress.
- Jaxon Van Derbeken (January 29, 2008). "Bey IV speeches a month before Bailey killed". San Francisco Chronicle.
- Thomas Peele (April 28, 2011). "Reluctant witnesses take the stand in Chauncey Bailey trial". The Chauncey Bailey Project.
- Unsigned (October 25, 2008). "Bey IV run-ins with the law". The Chauncey Bailey Project.
- Thomas Peele (April 12, 2011). "Your Black Muslim Bakery leader had Chauncey Bailey killed, bakery follower testifies". Oakland Tribune.
- Thomas Peele (March 28, 2011). "Broussard bursts into laughter describing 2007 slaying". The Chauncey Bailey Project.
- Thomas Peele (March 23, 2011). "Witnesses take the stand in Chauncey Bailey murder trial". San Francisco Bay Guardian.
- Christopher Heredia, Leslie Fulbright & Marisa Lagos (August 2, 2007). "Hit man kills newspaper editor on Oakland street". San Francisco Chronicle.
- Demian Bulwa & Matthai Chakko Kuruvila (August 6, 2007). "Bakery raid to elicit string of charges". San Francisco Chronicle.
- Thomas Peele; Bob Butler & Mary Fricker (April 17, 2009). "Suspect says Chauncey Bailey marked for death". The Oakland Tribune.
- "Leader of Your Black Muslim Bakery indicted in journalist's slaying". Religion News Blog. April 30, 2009.
- Thomas Peele, Bob Butler, Mary Fricker and Josh Richman (June 18, 2008). "Secret video raises questions about bakery leader's role in Bailey killing". East Bay Times.
- Thomas Peele (August 25, 2009). "Bey IV tried to strong-arm follower, recordings reveal". The Chauncey Bailey Project.
- Editorial Board (April 30, 2011). "Contra Costa Times editorial: Judge, sheriff and bailiffs must stop witness intimidation in Bey trial". Contra Costa Times.
- Thomas Peele (April 5, 2011). "Bailey witness can't remember specific 'kill' order from Yusuf Bey IV". San Jose Mercury News.
- Thomas Peele (May 2, 2011). "Another Bailey slaying trial witness has memory problems". Oakland Tribune.
- Thomas Peele. "Former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV guilty for murdering Chauncey Bailey". Retrieved 9 June 2011.