Former East Bay Express reporter Chris Thompson, who now writes for the Village Voice, says slain Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey (whose casket is seen here) told him in 2002 that he had been threatened by the family of Your Black Muslim Bakery owner Yusuf Bey. An employee of the bakery is now charged in Bailey’s murder.

Thompson, in this piece in the Village Voice, also tells about the threats he personally received after investigating the bakery and Bey. In one case, he wrote, a suspicious man came to the Express’s offices, interested only in getting a good look at his face. Thompson said he felt uneasy about the encounter and asked editor Steve Buel to drive him home.

    “While waiting for his car outside the office, I noticed a red minivan that looked out of place, but no one appeared to be behind the wheel. When I jumped in the car, the same man rose up from underneath the dashboard. He was trying to follow me home.

    “Buel gunned the engine and trapped the car in place, told me to memorize the license-plate number and swung back to the entrance. We jumped out and called the cops, and I spent the night at what you might call an undisclosed location.”

After a series of frightening phone calls, Thompson said he decided to hide out for several months in a hunting lodge in Northern California.

    “Eventually, the goons got bored with hunting for me, and I slowly returned to the office full-time. Chauncey Bailey wasn’t so lucky, but he fought the good fight against bad men. Despite the ongoing homicide epidemic, Oakland has slowly been emerging from its long, dark era of corruption, crime, ineptitude, and poverty. If city leaders manage to successfully prosecute the Bey family, they’ll have cut a big tumor out of the city’s heart.”

Above, friends and family follow the casket out of St. Benedict’s Catholic Church for the funeral of Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey. (Photo credit: Lacy Atkins, Chronicle)

Newsweek: Oakland officials supported Bey’s organization

ABC7: Bakery had political help from Dellums, Lee

Publisher says Bailey’s story will be told

Veteran journalists Harry Harris, Martin G. Reynolds and Emil Guillermo talk about Bailey’s legacy in SFGate podcast

Bailey’s fiance: People who were afraid but had a story to tell put their trust in him

Bailey championed freedom of the press

Judge orders bakery to liquidate

SF Press Club News


  1. Coverage of this case has dwindled in the past week. It’s just another routine story for most Bay Area journalists who are more concerned about whether they might be laid off or lose their union representation than they are about a fellow reporter’s death. Sad!

  2. it’s interesting to see how timid the media was in the past and how that has changed once the police moved in …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>