The shotgun slaying of Oakland editor Chauncey Bailey, in broad daylight by a man who allegedly stood over the fallen journalist and pumped a second blast into his face, has galvanized the as no single killing in decades, reports the Washington Post. To some, the suspect’s ties to a Muslim bakery showed that Oakland’s radical black movement — a history that spawned such figures as Huey Newton and Angela Davis — had gone awry, and that violence that infused that tradition had been tolerated too long.
Bailey, 57, editor of the Oakland Post, a black weekly newspaper, was shot Aug. 2 on his way to work. His alleged killer, 19, was a foot soldier in a local institution, Your Black Muslim Bakery, an ambitious social welfare project that court records show was deteriorating into a criminal enterprise. “This was sort of the Oakland version of a fatwa,” said Ishmael Reed, the poet and author of two books on Oakland. “This will wake up the African American elite, because they could be next. They feel very vulnerable now, after hundreds of people have been killed in the streets.” “What’s happening nowadays is kind of startling to the whole city,” said Phil Baker, 60, who wore the black leather vest of the East Bay Dragons motorcycle club, a mainstream civic group in Oakland. Yesterday, Mayor Ron Dellums unveiled new public safety initiatives, including the deployment of California Highway Patrol officers to the city, reports the Contra Costa Times.