In September 2002 prominent Oakland businessman and community leader Yusuf Bey was arrested on charges that he forced a ten-year-old under his foster care to have sex with him. At age thirteen, the girl gave birth to a child, and the district attorney's office obtained DNA evidence that proved Bey was the father.
In June 2002 a woman contacted the Oakland police claiming Yusuf Bey impregnated her in 1982 at the age of 13. Special Victims Unit served Bey with a search warrant for a tissue sample, which he provided. He refused to speak to the police, but Officer Jim Saleda told the East Bay Express that DNA tests confirmed Bey is the father. Bey turned himself in after police issued a warrant for his arrest.
The woman Bey sexually abused obtained a restraining order against him. She wrote, "I first met with Respondent when I was eight years old. When I was ten years old, I went to live with Respondent as a foster child in his home with his wife, Nora Bey. Respondent started sexually assaulting me at about that time. He threatened to kill me if I told anybody. He also beat me with his hands and other objects. When I was thirteen years old, I gave birth to a child fathered by Respondent. The violence and threats of physical harm continued, as did the repeated rapes. I did not tell anyone for fear of my life and the life of my child. I had no family other than Respondent's wife, who was aware of the rapes but did nothing. I had absolutely no money or means of support, because Respondent forced me to lie about the father of the children to get on welfare. He then took those checks for his own personal use. I managed to escape from Respondent after he beat me during my third pregnancy. At that time, I was not permitted to take any of my personal property with me. After I left, Respondent threatened to have me floating in a river if I ever divulged any of these crimes."
The woman Bey impregnated remained silent for almost twenty years. But she said when Bey wanted to take their daughter for "a ride with him" she became fearful and sought out the police. After the DNA test the woman said Bey threatened her. She wrote, "This threat has made me and my children fear for our lives. I have left my place of residence and have kept my whereabouts concealed from Respondent and his supporters. I have witnessed several people physically harmed by Respondent. ... Thus, I take Respondent's threats very seriously."
Bey refused to respond to questions posed the East Bay Express.
The Soul Beat television station, which broadcast Bey's preaching, banned discussion of the charges on the air after his arrest.
Court records and police reports also revealed the following:
"A group of up to six soldiers in the Black Muslim organization, led by a senior member of the Bey family, allegedly tortured two men for up to four hours -- and were allegedly transporting him under armed escort when police arrived."
"When Oakland police tried to arrest the men involved in this incident, thirty Black Muslims mounted an organized assault on the officers -- and the leader allegedly rallied his troops by calling for the death of white cops."
"While acting as managers of a North Oakland apartment complex, four Black Muslims allegedly beat a tenant unconscious during an argument about his daughter."
"Prominent family member Nedir Bey has been accused of stalking his estranged lover, threatening to hurt her or steal their children."
"Yusuf Bey has been accused of beating and raping a young girl, forcing her to lie about the children he fathered and allegedly threatening to kill her if she talked."
The Yusuf Bey "family" included many entrepreneurs that built a network of businesses and nonprofits in Oakland.
Nedir Bey, one of Yusuf Bey's adopted spiritual "sons" became the frequent spokesman for the organization. Nedir Bey lobbied the Oakland City Council and coordinated events for Yusuf Bey.
Nedir Bey, Abaz Bey, Larry Chin, and Basheer Muhammad were all charged with felony counts of assault, robbery, and false imprisonment.
In a plea agreement the Bey family associates pleaded "no contest" to one felony count of false imprisonment. Larry Chin was sentenced two days' time served, Basheer Muhammad received a sentence of 120 days home detention, Nedir Bey served six months at home, and Abaz Bey was sentenced to eight months' home detention.
Akbar Bey, another Yusuf Bey associate, was charged with felony counts for carrying a concealed weapon and evading police. Akbar Bey was slain in a shooting before trial. According to court records a pathologist found he was on heroin or morphine at the time.
The headquarters for this Oakland Bey organization was a business called "Your Black Muslim Bakery" located on San Pablo Avenue. Yusuf Bey exercised great influence in Oakland for more than thirty years. Bey businesses included bakeries, dry cleaners, security services, and apartment-management.
Yusuf Bey was born Joseph Stevens in Texas during 1935. His family later moved to California and Bey attended Oakland Tech. He served four years in the United States Air Force. After Bey completed his military service he received a cosmetology degree and ran beauty salons in Berkeley and Santa Barbara. Yusuf Bey began his bakery business in Oakland in 1971
Bey was enamored with the Nation of Islam. According to the East Bay Express the name "Your Black Muslim Bakery" was suggested by former Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad.
Bey reportedly reached out to "lost black men -- ex-cons and impoverished ghetto youth." He reportedly offered them "discipline and dignity" and the "knowledge of self."
Yusuf Bey once ran for mayor of Oakland. He hosted Nation of Islam spokesman Khalid Muhammad at a mayoral campaign rally. Muhammad told a large crowd, "Jews make me sick, always talking about the Holocaust! You kicked our babies out on the street. ... Let's kill some white folks in a movie for a change. We got to see some white folks die sometime." Muhammad then opined that the problems in South Africa was tied to "the old no-good, hook-nosed Jews sucking our blood."
Yusuf Bey praised and defended Muhammad when he was criticized for his anti-Semitic remarks. Yusuf Bey responded, "Mr. Rabbi, when you challenge us, you're the oppressor."
The controversy surrounding Khalid Muhammad caused Bey business problems. Stores stopped stocking his products and Bey laid off employees.
Bey blamed his problems and the problems of his spiritual sons on a "sinister conspiracy." He said, "These brothers have been accused, and we have been accused of every atrocity you can name. The bottom line is, we've been innocent. ... We've always been set up."
Bey also promoted racism. He liked to talk about the so-called science of "tricknology," which was reportedly "the art of being devious and underhanded." Bey explained, "We black people are not up to tricknology. We don't know tricknology, we cannot master it," According to Bey White people are "spreading their tricknology."
Bey also preached about a supposed "Contract with the Devil" during 1999, which he said was between white men and black women. Bey said, "The black woman and the Caucasian man have got a system going, an unwritten condition going, that 'As long as he's alright with me, don't bother him. 'But now if he upsets me, I'll just call 911, and you can come take over.' This is reality. You see, when police come to your home because of a family disturbance, they don't go to the man. He goes to the woman." Bey concluded, "There's a culture and a country in the East somewhere, where if the girl fornicates, the brothers have to kill the daughter. Have to kill their sister. ... In these societies, you do not have teenage pregnancies. In these societies, you do not have children in foster homes. In these societies, you do not have an unmarried woman, an unwed woman. You don't have children growing up in a household without a mother and a father. So who's right, and who's wrong?"
In 2002 East Bay Express reporter Chris Thompson wrote, "You might say the Bey family has been busy during the last nine years. But you wouldn't know it from the coverage they've received in the local press, including this newspaper. Virtually none of these arrests, confrontations, and allegations received the scrutiny they deserved." After writing those words Thompson was shot dead by a follower of the Yusuf Bey family.
Note: This news summary is based upon the report "The Sinister Side of Yusuf Bey's Empire" written by Chris Thomson and published by the East Bay Express November 12, 2016.