The daughters of prominent black activist Malcolm X have called for a resumption of the investigation into his murder in light of new testimonies implicating New York police and the FBI.
“All evidence that provides the greatest insight into the truth behind the terrible tragedy should be thoroughly investigated,” Ilyasah Shabazz, one of Malcolm X’s six daughters, told a news conference on Saturday.
Regarded along with Martin Luther King Jr. as one of the most influential African Americans in history, Malcolm X was an outspoken Muslim advocate for black rights, although critics said he preached racism and violence.
He was shot during a public speech in New York in February 1965.
When AFP contacted on Sunday, a spokesman for Manhattan’s district attorney said the agency’s “review” of the case is “active and ongoing.”
During the press conference, a letter was read out by the former New York police officer Raymond Wood, now deceased, in which he accused the NYPD and the FBI of being involved in the murder.
According to his cousin, Wood, who was black and worked as an undercover, claimed to have approached Malcolm X’s entourage on orders from his superiors.
Wood said he set up two of the activist’s bodyguards, who were arrested just days before the murder.
On February 21, 1965 – 55 years ago – El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, Malcolm X’s Muslim name, the two bodyguards, was shot by three armed men as he prepared to give a speech in the Audubon Ballroom, a theater in Harlem, in northern Manhattan.
Wood, who did not want his testimony to be made public until after his death, claimed that the New York Police Department and the FBI kept certain aspects of the case secret.
In February 2020, following the Netflix release of the documentary “Who Killed Malcolm X?”, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance asked his team to review the case to determine if the investigation would resume or not.
When AFP was contacted on Sunday, New York police said they had released “all available records relevant to that case” to the DA’s office.
The NYPD “is still committed to helping with that review in some way,” a spokesman said.
The FBI’s office in New York did not respond to AFP’s request for comment.