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Police shortage responsible for Bailey’s murder?

A little-noticed fact emerged in the media maelstrom over the tragic and terrifying assassination of Post editor Chauncey Bailey. According to the Trib’s website on Friday afternoon, though deleted from the final draft of the article, the police revealed that they had warrants to raid Your Black Muslim Bakery for several days before Mr. Bailey’s violent death. What was the reason for the delay in raiding the bakery? According to the LA Times:

The most recent police investigation of the bakery was sparked by incidents of alleged kidnapping, robbery and torture in November 2006 and in May. After two killings outside the bakery within four days last month, Oakland police sought help from other departments.

On Monday, police decided that the most feasible time for a coordinated effort would be Friday morning, with officers from San Leandro, Hayward, Fremont and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department scheduled to converge on the bakery before 5 a.m.

When Bailey was killed Thursday, officers were distraught, realizing that the planned raids may have been a day too late to save his life, (Assistant Chief Howard) Jordan said.

Because the OPD is dependent on neighboring police departments for manpower, they have to schedule raids not based on community safety, but on coordination between various agencies. Moreover, the utter absence of police presence in even Oakland’s busiest neighborhoods (like downtown) certainly emboldens an assassin. As much as the local media would like to avoid this sorry but salient fact, our desperate shortage of police officers is directly responsible for the terrible tragedy of last Thursday morning.

Posted in news, oakland, opd.

4 Responses

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  1. Becks says

    This story is a tragedy, even more so because it seems it could have been easily prevented. I’ve worked in downtown for 2 and a half years, and I’ve only seen one beat cop in the entire area. True, he patrols Broadway and 14th every weekday evening, and I’ve seen him step in on some sticky situations, but he can’t possibly patrol all of downtown. I’m not the tough on crime type, but it does seem that the shortage of police in Oakland has reached crisis level.

  2. dto510 says

    It’s a very serious public safety problem when there aren’t cops within shouting distance in a densely-populated neighborhood, let alone Oakland’s large and busy downtown. I don’t see having a minimal police presence as a “tough on crime” measure, but a preventative measure (as you probably do too, Becks). Mr. Bailey’s death may have been prevented if we had enough cops to pull off the raid earlier, but even beyond that – how could an assassin figure that the middle of downtown Oakland is the best place to murder someone?

  3. Mr X says

    Maybe if the bakery Muslims weren’t getting over $1M in taxpayer funding from the City of Oakland, that money could have gone to hire cops.

  4. dto510 says

    Maybe. And the $14,000 taxpayers gave Yusef Bey to run for City Council may have helped as well.