Philly Blunt

Freelance writer. Editor and web-video producer. Former Atlantic City Press and Philadelphia Weekly staff writer, City Paper managing editor/columnist and Dougherty for Senate campaign manager. Comments welcome here or emailed to brianhickey9 [at] hotmail. Now on: Facebook (Brian Hickey, in Philly) Twitter at Flickr at Be sure to check out Hickey on Divorce Court:

23 February 2009

Shinebox in the Times!

So, a guy I worked with in Atlantic City was named Thomas Peele. Gruff, but a solid dude, even the time he called me from a casino's parking garage where he'd run after fleeing a Cash-for-Gold store/murder scene that we thought was controlled by the Russian mob. I took to calling him Shinebox, since it pissed him off just like it did the dude from Goodfellas.

Shinebox (far left)

He moved out to Cali. I moved on to Philly. And while my hit-and-run got plenty covered here, he made the New York Times today for his work covering the aftermath of The Oakland Post editor who'd been looking into a Muslim bakery. It's dogged journalism following the story, and investigation, of a man who likely got killed for practicing dogged journalism.

The group, named The Chauncey Bailey Project, has had a deep impact on the city’s public life, revealing a jailhouse videotape that suggested a wider conspiracy in the murder and which the police seemingly ignored, and helping force the resignation of the Oakland police chief, Wayne Tucker.
The group has said that much of its work is done, but it says it will not shutter the operation completely until the investigation of Yusuf Bey IV, a son of the founder of the bakery, has been completed. Mr. Tucker suggested that an indictment was likely during a news conference after his resignation and that it would show a larger conspiracy in the murder of Mr. Bailey. Mr. Bey has denied culpability in the murder in an interview with one of the reporters on the project.
The pivotal point for the project occurred on an afternoon last spring. Over a sushi lunch in a downtown Oakland restaurant, a source slipped Thomas Peele, a reporter for The Bay Area News Group, a videotape.
The tape, secretly recorded by the police, showed Yusuf Bey IV sitting with associates in a jailhouse room, bragging about being a part of Mr. Bailey’s murder. It raised critical questions — still unanswered — about why the police had not charged Mr. Bey in the murder.

Shinebox, we're all proud of you.


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