Wednesday, April 20, 2011

From the Archives: Oakland Post Publisher to the Chief of Police

OPD officer Longmire

Oakland Post Publisher,

Paul Cobb

Subject: Thank you for your help
Date: Sat, February 23, 2008

Dear Chief Tucker:

I am writing to thank you for providing security up to this time and for being willing to provide additional security and/or alerts in the event of a negative reaction from the upcoming 60 minutes airing of the Chauncey Bailey Assassination story that includes interviews with Deputy Chief Jordan and Devaughndre Broussard.

I also want to thank you giving me permission to disclose your cell number to the media as we try to clarify the statement made by Jordan that I gave the Police the” lead” that it was the Black Muslim Bakery and by saying that he had gotten that information from you via a call from me. I am in the process of notifying the Mayor's office and 60 minutes of this statement that depicts me and the Post in a false light. Jordan's false representation endangers me and my family's safety.

I agree that it would helpful to clarify this matter to the media so that it does not escalate. I will be in touch with you in trying to arrange a media response sometime today (Saturday) or tomorrow. Just as you clarified a previous misstatement by an officer that I was not cooperative while at the NAACP meeting, I hope we can also put to rest this false statement. Because you know that Gay and I called you several times after Bailey's killing and requested an officer to take our statement since Bailey worked for us.

You sent Sgt. Derwin Longmire. And in the presence of Gay, Gene Hazzard, Walter Riley, Atty. and me he said that my suspicions of who I thought had a motive for Bailey's death were off the mark. He then said that he and the police knew that Chauncey was "targeted", "stalked" and the "killer was connected to Your Black Muslim Bakery.

Those were Longmire's words and conclusions, not mine. And that is why Jordan must be corrected. Which shows that I couldn’t have given your department any indication that there was a YBM Bakery connection? Since I had told Longmire that I had suspicions that another man who had come to the office a week earlier to threaten Bailey over a previous story, how could I think it was a YBM connection? That man was not connected to the YBM. And, even though that man lived a block from the killing site, Longmire dismissed my theory and description and proffered his own.

This sequence shows that Jordan's comments were willfully crafted to act as a "cover" and to put me in a dangerous position because of all the investigative issues Bailey was working on that I informed Longmire that day. It is also ridiculous since you and I have talked about how the Police have had the YBM “under watch and surveillance for many months”.

And why would I think that YBM would want to kill Bailey for a story that never appeared in print. ?I told Longmire that I had several answers to his question of “Was Bailey working on anything controversial?” and after I gave Longmire the following list, we commented on why he was not taking notes, especially on the issues involving allegations to the OPD and some of its officers.
1) Bailey had written about the Mayor's (Jerry Brown) destruction of records and was continuing his "Transparency in Government" series into Brown's continued involvement of steering funds to his school and the Fox Theater
2) Allegations of abusive language and behavior by the head of OPOA toward City Personnel which we had reported on and which subsequently led to Bailey’s chilling phone conversation with Valledon just a few days before his death.
3) Allegations that some officers were involved in taking drugs, money and jewelry from some dealers and in some instances selling them back to the dealers. And on this issue you asked me to provide you with their names and to file an official complaint, whereupon I joked and asked you would you provide me with a bulletproof vest.
4) Allegations of inordinate use of credit cards for gasoline for police cars taken home and controls of the Police automobile management. Chauncey had sought information from the OPOA head and he was told that he had told his officers not to cooperate with his questions and to stop looking in to their department. Bailey had gotten some of the information.
5) I also mentioned the YBM Bakery story that never ran. (This was the only thing Longmire wrote down)
6) Chauncey wrote a story from our “Front Street” series about an ex-gang member and drug dealer who had gone straight. This man did not like the way Chauncey wrote the story and came back to the office and gave our staff the “strong impression” that if Chauncey had been at the office something unpleasant would have happened. I talked to this gentleman for more than an hour and reassured him we would remedy his concerns. This was the man that I thought could’ve killed Chauncey, especially since he lived near 15th and Alice and Chauncey was killed at 14th and Alice. So how could Longmire summarily dismiss my theory and immediate say he couldn’t be the killer? And this was on or about 2:00pm on August 2, 200, just 5 hours after Bailey’s death.

I asked Longmire how he could have known that information so soon? And why was he wasting time talking to us and not going directly to the YBM Bakery? He then said “we are handling that.”

And since then there has been reports in the SFChronicle and the Oakland Tribune about Longmire’s longstanding involvements with some of the YBM members, how Jordan could say they got a lead from me when I tried to convince them of a different story. If I had thought that YBM was connected I never would have offered the “other” controversial stories.

Thank you,

Paul Cobb,

Publisher, Post Newspaper Group

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