Top News Story! RIALTO POLICE OFFICER
TAKEN INTO CUSTODY
TAKEN INTO CUSTODY
June 8, 2011
SANTA ANA, California – An Inland Empire police officer and an Orange County criminal defense attorney were taken into custody this morning by special agents with the FBI on federal bribery charges. Rialto Police Officer Aaron Scott Vigil, 41, of Highland, and criminal defense attorney Lawrence Anthony Witsoe, 67, of Mission Viejo, surrendered to the FBI after being named in a three-count indictment that was returned by a federal grand jury on June 1, 2011.
The indictment, which was unsealed this morning, alleges that Vigil, who served as a task force officer with the Drug Enforcement Administration, agreed to accept a $2,500 bribe in exchange for falsely telling the Orange County District Attorney’s Office that a criminal defendant being represented by Witsoe was a co-operator who had provided information to the DEA. The indictment charges both men with two counts – conspiracy and soliciting and accepting a bribe by a public official. Witsoe alone is charged with bribery of a public official. Both men are expected to be arraigned this afternoon in United States District Court.
According to the indictment, the bribery scheme began in the fall of 2009 when Witsoe told a client who was facing assault charges in Orange County Superior Court that for a sum of money – initially $1,000, but later increased to $2,500 – Witsoe could potentially get the assault case dismissed. Witsoe told the client that he could have a DEA agent call the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, explain that the client was a DEA informant, and ask the district attorney for consideration for the work the client had performed for the DEA. Thereafter, Vigil contacted the Orange County District Attorney’s Office on several occasions and explained that Witsoe’s client had provided reliable information regarding drug traffickers and that his cooperation led to the DEA seizing $110,000 in drug money, according to the indictment. When the district attorney dismissed the case, Witsoe instructed the client to wire the $2,500 to his client trust account, and Witsoe then wrote a check to the ex-wife of an associate of Vigil.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. If they are convicted of the counts in which they are charged, Vigil faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in federal prison, and Witsoe faces a maximum sentence of 35 years in prison.
The case against Vigil and Witsoe was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which received the full cooperation of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
Long-mired! OPD ... ????!
Posted: 07/17/2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Updated: 07/17/2011 04:44:12 PM PDT
Two inquiries into an Oakland police detective's questionable investigation of journalist Chauncey Bailey's 2007 murder were so flawed that commanders couldn't determine what happened and dropped efforts to fire him, legal documents show. Charges against Sgt. Derwin Longmire related to the Bailey case eventually led to determinations of "not sustained" -- meaning they couldn't be proved or disproved -- and he was never disciplined for that case, according to depositions in Longmire's federal discrimination lawsuit against the city of Oakland. But police commanders didn't tell Longmire of their decision not to fire him while he remained on paid leave for five additional months, a period he claims was unfair and caused him stress, damage to his reputation and anxiety over how he would support his family if he lost his job.
The revelations contained in the depositions provide the clearest picture to date of the Oakland Police Department's handling of the controversy surrounding Longmire and his alleged ties to Yusuf Bey IV, convicted last month of ordering Bailey's murder. But the picture remains incomplete, because many details of the department's inquiries still have not been made public. The depositions themselves provide only a sketch of a detective whose supervisors clearly suspected him of malfeasance. Assistant Chief Howard Jordan, a defendant in the suit, said in a deposition that Longmire was not told of the determination because he was under a separate internal investigation for sloppy work in 10 other, unrelated homicide cases -- charges that were found to be true and eventually resulted in a six-day unpaid suspension.
Longmire (pictured left) argues that the department was trying to get him to sign an agreement that he wouldn't sue before he returned to work, which he rejected. He returned to work in December 2009 and is now assigned to the patrol division. The lawsuit claims he was a victim of racial discrimination; that his First Amendment rights were violated through retaliation against him for complaining about violations that occurred during the probe; and that police managers leaked information of the probe to the media in violation of state law and Longmire's privacy rights. He filed a separate suit this month in state court also containing a First Amendment claim, as well as a claim that he was discriminated against because police officials thought he was a Black Muslim, which he said he wasn't.
He was accused of compromising the Bailey investigation because of his relationship with Bey IV, the former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader who now awaits sentencing to life in prison without parole eligibility. Both the city's consultant and the state Department of Justice concluded Longmire compromised the case, but police commanders testified their reports were sloppy and incomplete, according to the depositions made public by media sources. Neither report has been released.
Jordan testified that Internal Affairs Lt. Sean Whent -- also a defendant in the lawsuit -- told him the reports were flawed but contained enough evidence to uphold firing Longmire. Whent testified in his deposition, and wrote in an April 2009 memo, that the decision was Jordan's.
In his own deposition, Longmire said Jordan has a deep bias against him and wanted him fired to advance his own career. Longmire also insisted he did nothing wrong in the Bailey case and didn't have an inappropriate relationship with Bey IV. A departmentwide gag order in effect for more than three years meant "I couldn't say anything in my own defense," Longmire said in his deposition.
The gag order is now gone, but Longmire declined to be interviewed for this story, as did lawyers in the Oakland City Attorney's office who represent the city and police commanders. Longmire testified that he has suffered a "a tremendous cost of respect" and likely has lost out on a chance at a post-retirement job as a District Attorney's Office inspector, which he estimated would have paid him $600,000 in his first five years. He is seeking unspecified damages.
"My name is an absolute lightning rod now," he said in his deposition. "I am not an obscure figure. I am in the community both where I live and where I work. So people recognize and see me."
Rumors swirled for years within the department that Longmire had too-friendly ties to the Bey family and the bakery. Still, former homicide unit commander Erise Joyner has steadfastly stood by his call to have Longmire investigate the Aug. 2, 2007, slaying of Bailey, the Oakland Post's editor, which almost immediately was tied to the bakery.
Devaughndre Broussard, a bakery follower, confessed to the killing only after Longmire put him in a room alone with Bey IV for a seven-minute unrecorded conversation, during which he later claimed Bey IV ordered him to take sole blame for the killing. Broussard later recanted and then admitted killing Bailey on the order of Bey IV. He struck a deal for a 25-year prison term in exchange for testifying against Bey IV and bakery member Antoine Mackey. After Broussard's confession, efforts to tie Bey IV to the slaying slowed. In the depositions, Joyner testified that then-District Attorney Tom Orloff twice rejected efforts to charge Bey IV in the killing because he was facing separate kidnapping and torture charges that carried a mandatory life sentence. Bey IV, meanwhile, was repeatedly recorded in jail saying that Longmire was protecting him. Orloff didn't return a call seeking comment for this story.
In April 2008, the detective assigned to the torture case, Jesse Grant, complained to internal affairs that Longmire had interfered in his investigation. He said Longmire had spoken to his suspects without his permission and tried to get bakery computers that had been seized returned to the Beys. Longmire said in his deposition that he didn't even know a kidnapping had occurred or that Bey IV was a suspect. Grant, he said, "has a problem with Black males," which Longmire argued was a possible motive for the complaint against him. He went on to testify that Grant told staff at the District Attorney's Office that he was a Black Muslim. Grant, now a Berkeley police officer, did not return a message seeking a response.
Others in the department also voiced concern that Longmire was widely believed to be a Black Muslim and bakery associate. Among them, Whent and Deputy Chief Jeffrey Israel testified, was intelligence unit Officer Andre Rachal, the department's expert on the bakery. Longmire testified that when he was Rachal's intelligence unit supervisor, Rachal wouldn't give him information on the bakery because of that concern. That perception, Longmire claimed, was because of his race, patronage of the bakery and the fact he often wore a bow tie -- often associated with Black Muslims -- to work. But that, he said, was simply a fashion choice, because he thought bow ties made him appear distinguished.
Trying to preserve a perception of objectivity, the department farmed out its internal affairs investigation of Longmire to Wendell "Pete" France, a former Baltimore police commander and internal affairs consultant. The California Department of Justice, at the request of then-Mayor Ron Dellums, ran a simultaneous, separate probe. Both reports arrived scant days before a deadline set by state law -- one year after Grant's complaint -- by which the top brass had to decide whether to discipline Longmire. The depositions show a widespread dissatisfaction with the reports and no time to ask the authors to strengthen them.
Israel testified that France's report had "no discussion and analysis, no credibility assessments. Pete France came to a conclusion that is simply not supported. "... He didn't follow up with what I thought were some pretty loose ends that needed to be followed up on." Joyner, who as Longmire's supervisor was also a subject of the probes, was more blunt about France. He testified that he "just thought it was kind of ironic that an individual who was investigating a poor investigation by Longmire did even a more poor investigation himself."
France, now a Maryland prison commissioner, wrote in an email he has "no authorization to release any documents, nor do I have an interest in responding" to the depositions. The state Department of Justice in 2009 said it stood by its report; a spokeswoman this week declined to comment, calling it "a personnel issue."
Yet, despite criticism of the reports, Jordan quickly placed Longmire on paid suspension and began the process of firing him. Jordan also approved France's finding that Longmire had disobeyed Joyner's order to document all contacts with bakery members; Joyner testified that he provided computer records showing Longmire's compliance with that order.
Three months after Jordan suspended Longmire, Capt. Anthony Toribio conducted a hearing at which Longmire could respond to the allegations. Toribio within days of the hearing told Jordan he didn't believe the charges against Longmire could be sustained, a recommendation that usually would end such a case and let the subject return to work. Still, Longmire was kept on leave -- and in the dark about Toribio's recommendation -- for five more months.
April 14, 2011
OAKLAND — The lead police investigator into the shooting death of journalist Chauncey Bailey explained publicly for the first time Thursday why he did not record what later came to be seen as a crucial, private meeting between two men being questioned in connection with the 2007 killing.
Testifying in Bailey’s murder trial, Oakland Police Sgt. Derwin Longmire said he had no way of secretly recording the six-minute meeting between the prime suspect in the killing, Devaunghdre Broussard, and Yusuf Bey IV, the leader of Your Black Muslim Bakery who Broussard considered his spiritual leader.
Broussard, Longmire said, “had asked for privacy. It didn’t seem reasonable to me to leave a recording device.”
The police substation where Broussard and Bey IV were being interrogated wasn’t equipped with built-in recording devices, Longmire testified, adding that if he had left a recorder in plain sight it would have been as if he were in room listening to the conversation.
After Bey IV emerged from the meeting, Broussard told investigators he acted alone when he shot Bailey as the Oakland Post editor walked to work on the morning of Aug. 2, 2007. Broussard now says Bey IV ordered the killing to stop Bailey from writing an article about the bakery’s financial trouble, and that Bey IV used the private meeting to pressure him to take the blame, saying the moment was a test from God.
That explanation was one of the few things Longmire talked about in his long-anticipated appearance in Bey IV and co-defendant Antoine Mackey’s triple murder case. Bey IV and Mackey have pleaded not guilty to murder charges in connection with Bailey’s death and the unrelated shooting deaths of two other men, Odell Roberson and Michael Wills, in summer 2007.
Longmire’s testimony was cut short following a 30-minute conference in Judge Thomas Reardon’s chambers after Bey IV’s lawyer, Gene Peretti, objected to a line of questioning from prosecutor Melissa Krum.
Krum asked Longmire about a conversation about the bakery he had in 2003 with then Police Chief Richard Word. Peretti claimed the question lacked relevance to the charges against Bey IV, and the judge upheld the objection after meeting with attorneys in his chambers.
Reardon did not explain in open court why he upheld the objection.
According to documents obtained by the Chauncey Bailey Project, Longmire told Word in 2003 that the bakery was a criminal enterprise and urged that action be taken to shut it down. The documents describe Word declining to act on the advice and telling Longmire to work on other investigations.
After the private hearing with the judge, Krum quickly changed directions in her questioning and finished within 10 minutes. Peretti and Mackey’s lawyer, Gary Sirbu, crossed-examined Longmire for a few minutes and the court session ended more than an hour early because Krum had no other witnesses ready to testify, anticipating a longer session with Longmire.
Much of Longmire’s testimony focused on how he came to know Bey IV and his knowledge of the bakery. Longmire said he met Bey IV in November 2005 when Bey IV showed up at a crime scene where a man had died in police custody after choking on a bag of drugs he tried to swallow.
Bakery members had videotaped the encounter, and the recording was later seized during a raid on the bakery. On the recording, which Krum played it for the jury, Bey IV could be heard called police officers “white devils” as Longmire tried to calm him.
Longmire said he told Bey IV, whose older brother Antar had recently been murdered, that he ought to be home comforting his mother and running the bakery, not “confronting police about matters he knew very little.”
Longmire also said that the first lead that the bakery was linked to Bailey’s death came from Post publisher Paul Cobb, who he said called police shortly after the shooting and said that Bailey was working on a story about the long-standing black empowerment organization.
Under cross examination by Sirbu, Longmire also denied charges from Broussard, who said Longmire grabbed and roughly squeezed his leg while interrogating him and also denied his requests for a lawyer.
Neither Peretti nor Sirbu asked Longmire any questions about his handling of the case, which lead to a state justice department investigation in 2009 and a finding that Longmire “intentionally compromised” the investigation because he was friends with Bey IV. Longmire’s lawyers have vigorously denied those claims and successfully fought Oakland Police Department attempts to dismiss Longmire.
A state justice department official, John Porbanic, led the 2009 investigation. A police internal affairs investigation reached the same conclusion. Longmire’s lawyer, Michael Rains, got the department to back down after writing a blistering critique of the state investigation, calling it inept.
The justice department then issued a written statement saying that its findings were supported by facts and standing behind Porbanic. A justice department spokesman, Jim Finefrock, said in an email Thursday the department had no comment on whether that position has changed.
Longmire sued the Oakland Police Department last year in federal court, claiming that his rights were violated, in part because a gag order prohibited him from speaking publicly about the Bailey case. All but one of his claims were thrown out. Court records show the suit has been sent to a mediator for possible settlement.
The trial resumes Monday morning. Krum said Wednesday that she has about 40 witnesses left to testify.
Lawsuit: Officers claims tossed by Judge!
July 2, 2010
A federal judge has dismissed most of a civil-rights lawsuit filed by the former Oakland homicide detective who led the highly criticized investigation of journalist Chauncey Bailey's 2007 slaying. Sgt. Derwin Longmire had claimed in his April lawsuit that the Oakland Police Department, Assistant Chief Howard Jordan and Internal Affairs Division Lt. Sean Whent violated his constitutional rights and ruined his reputation by investigating his conduct and allowing information leaks while forbidding him from clearing his own name. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White this week ruled Longmire's case is full of holes and can't be sustained by the facts presented in the complaint. He dismissed all but one of Longmire's claims, allowing Longmire the right to amend and refile his case on the others. City Attorney John Russo and Longmire's lawyers couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
Bailey was editor of the Oakland Post when he was shot to death Aug. 2, 2007. The next day, police raided Your Black Muslim Bakery on warrants from a separate investigation and found the shotgun used to kill Bailey. Hours later, Longmire let former bakery CEO Yusuf Bey IV and bakery handyman Devaughndre Broussard, both of whom were in custody, have a seven-minute, unrecorded conversation. Broussard then confessed to killing Bailey but later recanted. Broussard ultimately admitted to prosecutors in April 2009 that he killed Bailey but said he was ordered to do so by Bey IV. The Alameda County District Attorney's Office now has charged Bey IV and Antoine Mackey, a bakery associate, with Bailey's slaying and two other killings.
Longmire came under fire from critics for having too close of a relationship to Bey IV as he investigated Bailey's death. He had interceded in Bey IV's criminal cases before, and the two had numerous telephone conversations while Bey IV was in jail, including calls omitted from Longmire's case notes. White noted in his ruling this week that the first internal investigation found Longmire had compromised the Bailey case, and so he was suspended and put on paid administrative leave in April 2009. Longmire complained that the internal investigation had been faulty, and the city responded with an offer that he return to work in exchange for agreeing not to sue the city. Longmire refused to sign the release, and later was ordered to return to work and was served with a proposed 20-day suspension for alleged misconduct related to a second internal investigation of his handling of other homicide cases. Longmire received no discipline for his conduct in the Bailey case and now works as a sergeant in the patrol division, where he was transferred from homicide before he was put on leave.
In his lawsuit, Longmire claimed he was retaliated against for exercising his First Amendment free-speech rights by writing to the department in March 2009 to complain about the internal affairs officer investigating him. White wrote the lawsuit doesn't establish that the letter was "constitutionally protected as opposed to a mere internal personnel grievance." Longmire also claimed Jordan and Whent violated his rights by "ratifying" leaks to the press of confidential information about Longmire's case, doing nothing to investigate those leaks but imposing a gag order to keep him from saying anything publicly to clear his name. This, too, doesn't rise to the level of a First Amendment claim, White ruled. Longmire had claimed he was investigated unfairly as a result of his perceived membership in or association with Your Black Muslim Bakery and its religious affiliation, even though he's a Christian.
But the judge said Longmire presented no claim that the city or police administrators interfered with his actual, Christian faith, or even with his hypothetical embrace of the Black Muslim faith. Anyway, White wrote, Longmire presented no precedent to show such a claim can be based on discrimination against a misperceived religious affiliation. Nor does he have a case in claiming infringement of his right to association with a group he was mistakenly associated with, White wrote: He can't claim his rights to associate with the bakery were infringed if he never actually associated with it anyway. Longmire had claimed he was deprived of his right to privacy under the Fourth and Ninth Amendments by the information leaks about the internal affairs investigation into his activities. "However, the complaint does not allege that the press improperly received information about Plaintiff's personnel records," White wrote. "The current complaint fails to state the type or content of the information disclosed in the leaks."
White wrote that Longmire claimed he was denied due process of law yet concedes he wasn't disciplined for his conduct, so there's no basis to claim he was deprived of property or liberty. "Although Plaintiff pleads elsewhere that he suffered damage to his reputation, such injury is not sufficient to support a claim for violation of due process." White did not dismiss Longmire's claim that he was denied equal protection of the law under the Fourteenth Amendment because the department's investigations of him were racially discriminatory. The judge said case law requires that the court allow such a claim to proceed.
Jury: Your Black Muslim Bakery follower guilty in kidnapping-torture case!
April 7, 2010
OAKLAND — A jury Wednesday morning convicted a follower of the defunct Your Black Muslim Bakery on six felony charges of kidnapping two women at gunpoint and torturing one of them in a failed scheme to steal drug money and use it to save the bakery from financial ruin.
Richard Lewis, 26, a former star football player at San Francisco's Galileo Academy, now faces a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. He was part of an inner circle that jailed bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV once referred to in a conversation while in jail as his "San Francisco muscle."
The jury began deliberations Monday morning. Lewis testified last week that he had nothing to do with the May 17, 2007 crime and insisted that two of Bey IV's half brothers who testified against him were lying in order to frame him and divert responsibility for themselves.
Both Joshua Bey and Yusuf Bey V, who have pleaded guilty to lesser charges and agreed to testify in exchange for sentences of three and 10 years respectively, told jurors that Lewis was involved in the kidnapping.
Prosecutor Christopher Lamiero also told the jurors that testing, although not conclusively linking Lewis to the crime, showed that Lewis could not be excluded as the source of DNA found on a large knife used to cut the victim.
The victim, a woman in her forties, testified that she was handcuffed, had a garbage bag placed over her head and was beaten as her attackers demanded to know where a drug dealer —from whom she had bought cocaine — kept his money. A police officer on routine patrol rescued the woman. Bey IV and another defendant, Tamon Halfin, will be tried separately in the kidnapping case. Bey IV will first face triple-murder charges in May for allegedly ordering Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey and two other men killed in the summer of 2007.
April 7, 2010
OAKLAND — Oakland police Sgt. Derwin Longmire (pictured above, center) the former homicide detective who led the highly criticized investigation of journalist Chauncey Bailey's 2007 death, filed a lawsuit against the city Wednesday, claiming high-level police commanders tarnished his reputation. "I want to restore my good name," Longmire said. "My reputation has been slandered and very nearly destroyed. And I need an opportunity, a venue, in which to speak the truth." The federal civil rights lawsuit claims the department undertook a biased internal investigation to "confirm" the beliefs of Assistant Chief Howard Jordan and Acting Capt. Sean Whent, head of the Internal Affairs Division, that Longmire "compromised the Bailey investigation." It further claims a California Department of Justice investigation relied on Jordan and Whent to provide background information and also was biased. Police Department leaks to the media — including The Chauncey Bailey Project, the Oakland Tribune and the San Francisco Chronicle — damaged Longmire's reputation, the lawsuit said. "I live every day with the shadow of this hanging over me," Longmire said, adding that he lives with "anxiety" and "anguish" in his home life as well as at work. The lawsuit asks for unspecified monetary damages and for injunctive relief. Alex Katz, a spokesman for City Attorney John Russo, said Russo's office wouldn't comment because it has not reviewed the lawsuit. The Police Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Longmire was placed on paid administrative leave in April 2009, and the department subsequently moved to fire him on allegations he compromised the Bailey investigation and was insubordinate. The department ultimately sent Longmire back to work after a disciplinary hearing that did not go well for the city, according to department sources familiar with the matter. Longmire is working as a sergeant in the patrol division, where he transferred from homicide before he was put on leave. He still is facing the possibility of much lesser discipline on matters unrelated to the Bailey case, but he and his lawyer declined to discuss those issues Wednesday.
Chauncey Bailey was editor of the Oakland Post when he was shot to death Aug. 2, 2007. The day after Bailey's slaying, police raided Your Black Muslim Bakery on warrants from a separate investigation of the bakery. They found the shotgun used to kill Bailey, and, hours later, Longmire let former bakery CEO Yusuf Bey IV and bakery handyman Devaughndre Broussard have a seven-minute, unrecorded conversation. Broussard then confessed to killing Bailey but later recanted.
Broussard then admitted to prosecutors in April 2009 that he killed Bailey but said he was ordered to do so by Bey IV. The Alameda County District Attorney's Office is charging Bey IV and Antoine Mackey, a bakery associate, with Bailey's slaying, as well. Longmire came under fire for having too close of a relationship to Bey IV as he investigated Bailey's death. The two had numerous telephone conversations while Bey IV was in jail, which were not included in Longmire's case notes.
Jordan, who served as acting police chief from March 1, 2009 until Oct. 19, 2009 last year, said after Longmire was put on leave that, in hindsight, he was not the right person for the case. "I thought (Longmire) was able to separate his relationship with the bakery and do his job," Jordan said April 30. "And I'm not sure about that right now." Longmire and his attorney said Wednesday that Longmire was — and continues to be — hampered by a gag order, preventing him from discussing the Bailey case publicly. Asked if he compromised the case, he said, "I did not, but I cannot speak any more on that because of the gag order that remains in place."
Sgt. Derwin Longmire
Article Last Updated: (recorded conversations between Longmire & Yusef Bey, IV) 09/04/2009 04:30:18 PM PDT
By Thomas Peele, Bob Butler and Mary Fricker, The Chauncey Bailey Project.
Article Last Updated: 10/27/2008 09:28:18 AM PDT
OAKLAND - Well before the August 2007 killing of journalist Chauncey Bailey, detective Sgt. Derwin Longmire twice interfered in felony investigations of former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV, according to police documents obtained and interviews conducted during a yearlong investigation by the Chauncey Bailey Project. In both cases, Bey IV was charged with crimes despite Longmire's actions.
In one, he continued to talk to Bey IV about one case after an investigator told him not to, according to police documents. In the other case, he tried to get evidence returned to the Bey family before it could be analyzed, said law enforcement sources familiar with the situation.
Police internal affairs detectives are now investigating Longmire's relationship with Bey IV and his work on the Bailey slaying case.
Longmire did not respond to multiple requests for an interview. Police Chief Wayne Tucker and Assistant Chief Howard Jordan rejected interview requests. Jordan and homicide unit commander Lt. Ersie Joyner have both praised Longmire in past interviews, calling him professional and ethical.
A janitor and dishwasher at the former bakery, Devaughndre Broussard, is the only person charged in Bailey's Aug. 2, 2007, killing. Longmire case notes seemingly ignore evidence linking Bey IV to a role in the killing, including data from a tracking device and cell phone records, according to a copy of those case notes that the Bailey Project obtained.
The detective's actions in the other cases in turn "raise lots of questions as to his neutrality his impartiality" in the Bailey investigation, and "whether or not he had some sort of agenda that favored the people who ran the bakery," said Peter Keane, a former San Francisco police commissioner and dean emeritus of Golden Gate University School of Law. In November 2005, when Bey IV was under investigation in the vandalism and robbery of two North Oakland liquor stores, Longmire made repeated incursions into the case even after the case's lead investigator admonished him.
He interfered in another case involving Bey IV in June 2007, when the bakery leader was under investigation by other detectives on suspicion that he led four of his followers in the kidnapping and torture of two women. After Bey IV's Aug. 3, 2007, arrest in that case, he continued to interfere in it.
"Just to (put) yourself into someone else's case without their awareness, knowledge and approval, that's a violation of (police) protocol. You just don't do that," said Thomas Nolan, a retired Boston police lieutenant who now teaches criminology at Boston University.
Keane said Longmire took on "roles that were far different from just the straightforward, professional role of an investigator impartially investigating criminal activity. He seemed - from what we can see - to have other agendas. I think he's going to have to speak to those at some point."
The liquor store
The night before Thanksgiving in 2005, shortly after he took control of the bakery after the killing of his older brother, Antar Bey, 20-year-old Yusuf Bey IV took his first public action as a leader of an institution that had for more than 30 years symbolized African-American self-reliance and militancy.
He led 10 men in suits and bow ties into two North Oakland liquor stores where they broke open beer coolers with baseball bats and smashed bottles of whiskey and other spirits on the floor.
A security camera at one of the stores taped the attack. The men also stole a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun from one of the store clerks. It was the gun that 21 months later would be used to kill Chauncey Bailey.
As part of the liquor store investigation, Oakland police Detective Dominique Arotzarena launched an aggressive search, using confidential informants who had worked at the bakery, to identify people on the video, which was shown on several newscasts.
On Nov. 27 - four days after the attack - Arotzarena wrote in his case notes that Longmire approached him about the investigation.
"He advised me that the mother of Yusuf Bey IV called him. She wanted Longmire to call him about the case," Arotzarena wrote in his case notes. "Longmire asked me what he could tell Bey IV about the case.
"I told him not to reveal any details about the case, including the possibility of Bey (IV) being a suspect," Arotzarena wrote. But Longmire didn't heed the admonishment. An hour-and-a-half later, according to Arotzarena's notes, Longmire approached him again and said he'd had another call from Bey IV's mother, Daulet Bey. Arotzarena didn't write his response to the second approach. He declined to be interviewed for this story.
But the fact that he documented Longmire's uninvited entries into the case is telling, said Nolan, the retired Boston detective who reviewed the notes.
"Obviously, there's some kind of conflict that's being memorialized here by (Arotzarena.) Something occurred that torqued (him) off . particularly when he says, 'I asked him not to reveal any details of the case,' that's a red flag to me as a former cop. "It appears as though (Longmire's) colleagues for various reasons, don't trust him." Nolan said. With Bey IV captured on surveillance video leading the vandalism, why does Longmire "want to give him any kind of consideration, as far as getting hooked for it? It doesn't make sense," Nolan said.
On Nov. 28, Arotzarena was called to a meeting with then-Capt. Jeff Loman, head of the criminal investigations division, Deputy Chief Howard Jordan and Officer Anthony Rachal. Loman told Arotzarena that Bey IV was "coming to the police department (the next day). Bey (IV) wanted to talk to the police about the vandalism," according to Arotzarena's notes. The next morning, then-Alameda Superior Court Judge Jacqueline Tabor signed warrants for the arrest of Bey IV and five others at Arotzarena's request.
Before Arotzarena could do anything with the warrants, Loman met with him again. Loman "advised me that if Bey (IV) was completely forthcoming with information, we were to release him pending review of the case with" the district attorney's office, Arotzarena wrote in his case notes.
Loman, a friend of Longmire's, did not respond to requests for an interview. Homicide unit commander Lt. Ersie Joyner described Loman in April as knowing people at the bakery much the same way Longmire did, as part of the department's efforts to get to know the community.
Shortly after Loman told Arotzarena not to arrest Bey IV, Bey IV showed up at police headquarters with Longmire, according to Arotzarena's case notes.
"I never asked Bey (IV) to come down to the police department during this investigation, Arotzarena wrote. "He came down to meet with Longmire."
The warrants were "not made public by this police department or me. Longmire organized this visit."
Bey IV immediately asked for a lawyer. It is unclear how he knew there was a warrant for his arrest.
"I never spoke to Bey (IV) nor told him that he was under arrest," Arotzarena wrote. Longmire's conduct was clearly outside of police protocol and raises serious questions about his ethics, Keane said.
"His getting involved in extraneous cases when his fellow officers and colleagues didn't want him involved raises some big questions" Keane said.
UC Berkeley law professor Charles Weisselberg said what is significant is that with Longmire arranging for Bey IV to come to the police station, Arotzarena lost control of the case.
A detective, he said, wants to be in charge of all aspects of an investigation, especially when a suspect is questioned and arrested. Because Bey IV came in with Longmire to surrender, Arotzarena "no longer had control of when (he) was going to arrest or have first contact with Bey IV."
Arotzarena "was very specific in stating that he had never asked for Bey IV to come down to the police department," Weisselberg said.
"What jumps out at me is that the investigating officer thought it was sufficiently significant or serious to include it in the case notes," Nolan said. Detectives, he said, rarely criticize colleagues in writing.
Bey IV pleaded no contest to eight felony charges in the liquor store case on July 30and is to be sentenced next year.
The kidnapping case
In spring 2007, Bey IV and four of his followers - Tamon Halfin, Richard Lewis and his half-brothers, Yusuf Bey V and Joshua Bey - are accused of kidnapping two women at gunpoint by posing as police officers and stopping their car on Interstate 580. Police say the five took the victims to an abandoned East Oakland house and tortured one of them in an attempt to extort money.
In testimony during a preliminary examination Jan. 24, one of the women described a brutal beating as she was tied to a chair, a bag over her head. She said the attackers beat her so hard she thought she'd been shot and that they threatened to violate her with a hot curling iron.
A police officer on routine patrol happened on the scene and rescued the women. Police say the five suspects escaped, but they left two cars and a cell phone at the scene. During the next several days, Joshua Bey and another follower of Yusuf Bey IV's each reported one of the cars as stolen. Police didn't buy the claims.
Within a few days, detectives asked Joshua Bey and the other follower, Kahlil Raheem, to come in voluntarily give statements about the stolen cars. The idea was to lock the two into statements that detectives already suspected were false, said an Oakland detective with knowledge of the situation.
Joshua Bey and Raheem came in at separate times. Each time, Longmire showed up and briefly entered the interrogation room where the suspect was being kept. Longmire was uninvolved in the case and did not speak to the investigative detectives first, said the Oakland detective.
It is unknown what, if anything, was said. Joshua Bey on Feb. 1 pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping and is scheduled to testify against the others at a Superior Court trial in exchange for a reduced sentence. Raheem, who was also charged in the liquor store case, pleaded no contest in July to one count of vandalism. In exchange for a sentence of probation, he testified against the kidnapping defendants at their preliminary hearing.
Both Joshua Bey and Raheem, in brief interviews with the Bailey Project, said they didn't recall Longmire speaking to them.
When the bakery was raided Aug. 3, among the items seized were several computers. Police suspected they contained evidence of other crimes. Bey IV is also charged in a separate case with real estate fraud, including using false identities to apply for mortgages in June 2006.
Before those computers could be searched, law enforcement officials learned that Longmire was trying to get them returned to the Bey family.
Internal affairs investigators are looking at Longmire's attempt to have those computers returned. The situation was serious enough that extra provisions were taken to keep the computers safeguarded as evidence, officials said.
The Bailey Project also has learned that Longmire worked to discredit the detective who worked on the kidnapping case and was in line to join the homicide unit. That detective, Jesse Grant, left the Oakland Police Department earlier this year, taking a job with the Berkeley Police Department.
He is described by some members of law enforcement who know him as an outstanding detective about to be promoted to sergeant in Oakland at the time of his departure.
Grant declined to be interviewed. The detective said that Grant pointed out several times that he was finding evidence in the kidnapping case that was related to the Bailey case. But Longmire ignored him, the detective said, and worked to derail Grant's career in the Oakland Police Department. Grant "was blacklisted for doing the right thing," the Oakland detective with knowledge of the situation said. "He's an excellent investigator, he did a great job."
Bey IV remains incarcerated without bail at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin awaiting trial in the kidnapping case. He is also being held in nine other criminal cases, including four felonies in Alameda County, a felony assault case in San Francisco, a gun possession case in Solano County and a stolen vehicle case in Contra Costa County, according to a summary prepared in August by Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Scott Patton.
Thomas Peele is an investigative reporter for the Bay Area News Group. Bob Butler and Mary Fricker are independent journalists. Reach them at Tpeele@bayareanewsgroip.com", firstname.lastname@example.org", and email@example.com"
The following reporters contributed to this story: Josh Richman of the Bay Area News Group, Will Evans of The Center for Investigative Reporting, Andrew Palma of San Francisco State University, Roland De Wolk of KTVU-TV, independent journalists Ethan Harp, Ronnie Cohen, G.W. Schultz, and Gene Durnell and student intern Marguerite Davenport.