OAKLAND, Calif. -- A day after a prominent newspaper editor was shot to death in downtown Oakland, police yesterday arrested several members of a fringe Muslim group suspected in his killing and two other men, part of what authorities called "a very violent criminal enterprise" based out of a neighborhood bakery.
The arrests were made after SWAT teams conducted a predawn raid on the bakery -- the Your Black Muslim Bakery -- and three other bakery-owned properties, finding several firearms, including the gun believed to have been used to kill Chauncey Bailey, the editor of the weekly Oakland Post newspaper. Bailey, 57, was shot several times at close range Thursday morning at a busy intersection near the Alameda County Courthouse. Bailey had been working on an article for the paper about possible links between the bakery and several slayings in the area, according to Walter Riley, a lawyer for the paper's publisher, Paul Cobb.
One of seven men arrested yesterday was Yusef Bey IV, the son of the bakery's founder, who was already charged in two other crimes. The six other men arrested yesterday were not identified, nor were two suspects still being sought.
Police said the raids were launched after a lengthy investigation of other crimes, including kidnappings involving torture on a single day in May and two killings in July, both committed in the same neighborhood as the bakery. Police had connected those crimes and put the bakery and the Muslim group under surveillance when Bailey was killed.
"During our investigation, Chauncey Bailey was murdered, and it turns out that the evidence in that case also linked the same individuals we were looking at in the other two prior murders to that case," said police Lieutenant Ersie Joyner.