OAKLAND, CA - An investigator in the slaying of an Oakland, Calif., journalist testified about his decision to allow two suspects to speak alone while in custody.
Oakland police Sgt. Derwin Longmire said his controversial decision to allow the former leader of Your Black Muslim Bakery, Yusuf Bey IV, accused in the killing of journalist Chauncey Bailey, to speak alone with a bakery associate also in custody -- and who subsequently confessed to being the gunman -- was meant to "get the truth," the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Longmire has been criticized for having had a close relationship with Bey, the former head of the self-described black empowerment group, who is on trial for triple murder.
Longmire acknowledged in Alameda County Superior he had already been acquainted with Bey for two years when admitted hit man Devaughndre Broussard shot and killed Bailey in August 2007.
Questions had been raised whether Longmire's friendship with Bey compromised the investigation into the killing of Bailey, who had been writing articles about the group's financial and internal problems.
Longmire allowed Bey and Broussard to be alone together after both were arrested the day after Bailey was killed.
Broussard, after denying any involvement, eventually confessed to police.
However, the meeting was not taped and Broussard later withdrew his confession, then ultimately cooperated with prosecutors in exchange for a plea deal with a 25-year prison sentence.