Family wants Malcolm X murder case reopened; new evidence links to NYPD conspiracy

What to know about Malcolm X's assassination.It happened on Feb. 21, 1965.Malcolm X was assassinated by rivals of the Nation of Islam in New York City.He had been addressing his Organization of Afro-American Unity at the Audubon Ballroom in Washington Heights.Founded months earlier, the organization advocated black identity and held that racism — not whites — was the greatest foe of the African American.The Nation of Islam advocated Black nationalism and racial separatism.Malcolm’s new movement steadily gained followers, becoming increasingly influential in the civil rights movement.An estimated 30,000 mourners attended his funeral in Harlem

Sunday marked 56 years since the killing of Malcolm X. Near the anniversary of his death, lawyers for the family of the civil rights icon unveiled new evidence they say links the New York Police Department and the FBI of conspiring to kill the late Muslim leader.

The lawyers say the deathbed letter from a man who was a New York City officer at the time of Malcolm X’s death in 1965 revealed allegations against the police department and FBI, according to several reports, including one from New York ABC affiliate ABC-7. The deceased man, Raymond Wood, wrote in the letter that his responsibility was to ensure members of Malcolm X’s security team were arrested days before he was shot dead in Manhattan, his family says.

ExploreWho shot Malcolm X? Questions loom 55 years after civil rights icon’s assassination

The controversial figure was gunned down on Feb. 21, 1965, while speaking among his family and fellow Muslims. Years later, Thomas Hagan, who had also been called Talmadge Hayer; Mujahid Abdul Halim, known then as Thomas 15X Johnson; and Muhammad Abdul Aziz, who at the time of Malcolm X’s death was known as Norman 3X Butler, were convicted of the activist’s murder and sentenced to life.

Wood’s letter allegedly states that the directive he was given days before Malcolm X’s death would guarantee there would not be any door security at the Audubon Ballroom where he was killed. Now, the late civil rights leader’s three daughters, along with Wood’s family and high-profile civil rights attorney Ben Crump, are asking for the murder investigation to be reopened in light of the new evidence.

”So, what we’re trying to do is talk about restorative justice is as lawyers — try to pursue relentless justice,” said attorney Ray Hamlin. “On behalf of the legacy of Malcolm X, Dr. Betty Shabazz, on behalf of his family, his lineage who is here.”

The FBI had been linked to his death in past theories that have circulated. Up until this latest claim, there were three primary circumstances believed to have led to Malcolm X’s death:

— The FBI was behind the infamous assassination of the controversial Black Muslim leader and political activist.

— The white power structure in America conspired to gun him down.

— It was an inside job carried out by his former brothers in the Nation of Islam.

Now, with the claims of new evidence, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office says “the review of this matter is active and ongoing.”

The NYPD released the following statement Saturday:

“Several months ago, the Manhattan District Attorney initiated a review of the investigation and prosecution that resulted in two convictions for the murder of Malcolm X. The NYPD has provided all available records relevant to that case to the District Attorney. The Department remains committed to assist with that review in any way.”

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