The family of black civil rights leader Malcolm X is calling for a full investigation into his murder after uncovering new evidence that New York Police and the FBI conspired in his 1965 assassination.
Three of Malcom X’s daughters joined nationally renowned civil rights lawyer Ben Crump at a press conference on Saturday where relatives of a former New York police officer read a letter claiming the police department of New York and the FBI had covered up details of the assassination.
The family and their lawyers said the letter provided new evidence for the assassination, which has long interested academics and activists.
The letter was written in 2011 by Raymond Wood, a New York Police officer who was on duty the day Malcolm X was killed in 1965. He wrote that he had been forced to incite members of the Malcolm X’s security team to commit crimes so that they can be arrested days before. murder.
Raymond Wood wrote that he “participated in actions which in retrospect were deplorable and detrimental to the advancement of my own black people.” The letter was read aloud on Saturday by a member of the Reginald Wood Jr.
“It was my mission to drag the two men into a federal criminal felony so that they could be arrested by the FBI and prevented from handling the security of Malcolm X’s door on February 21, 1965,” Wood wrote. “At that point, I didn’t know Malcolm X was the target.
Malcolm X was killed in Manhattan’s Audubon Ballroom on February 21, 1965, by gunmen who opened fire during a speech. Three men – Muhammad Aziz, Mujahid Abdul Halim and Khalil Islam – were convicted of the murder of the civil rights leader and sentenced to life imprisonment. Aziz and Islam had long denied being linked to a plot to kill Malcolm X, and Halim had said the two were not involved.
Some experts say the murder investigation was botched and wonder if law enforcement knew about the assassination plot in advance because the FBI and NYPD had Malcolm X under surveillance at the time of his death, according to the New York Times.
Reginald Wood Jr. said on Saturday that Raymond Wood revealed his participation after being diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2011 and wanted to go public with the letter after his death, fearing possible repercussions from authorities. He passed away on November 24, 2020.
“He wanted the world to know that he is deeply sorry,” said Reginald Wood Jr. “I hope this information will help the Shabazz family to understand more clearly what happened to their father on that horrible day.
Family lawyer Ray Hamlin said the Shabazz family are seeking justice and compensation for the crimes alleged in the letter.
“Any evidence that sheds light on the truth behind this terrible tragedy needs to be fully investigated,” said Ilyasah Shabazz, one of Malcolm X’s daughters.
The office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance announced in February 2020 after the release of a Netflix series exploring the assassination that it would reverse the 1965 assassination.
“The NYPD has provided all available documents regarding this matter to the district attorney,” the department said in a statement to USA TODAY. “The department remains committed to contributing in any way to this review.”
The FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Contribute: The Associated Press
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