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Exactly 56 years since Malcolm X was assassinated in New York City, the lawyers and relatives of the late civil rights leader published a letter that they claim shows that the NYPD and the FBI conspired in his murder.
The note, which is said to be a deathbed confession made by Ray Wood, a former undercover NYPD officer, was revealed at a press conference by civil rights attorney Ben Crump on Saturday.
Wood claims in his letter that the FBI and NYPD conspired to kill Malcolm X, who was shot and killed on February 21, 1965 inside the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem during a demonstration.
He alleged that he was pressured by his New York police supervisors to lure two members of Malcolm X’s security detail to commit crimes that resulted in his arrest just days before the shooting.
Those arrests prevented the two men from handling the door security at the ballroom the night Malcolm was killed, according to the letter.
“My job was to infiltrate civil rights organizations throughout New York City, to find evidence of criminal activity, so that the FBI could discredit and arrest their leaders,” Wood stated in the letter.
“Under the direction of my handlers, they told me to encourage the leaders and members of civil rights groups to commit crimes.”
Malcolm X was assassinated in New York City, lawyers and family members of the late civil rights leader have released a letter they claim shows the NYPD and FBI conspired in his murder.
In his later, dated January 25, 2011, the former officer affirmed that his actions were carried out under duress and fear of reprisals.
“After witnessing the repeated brutality at the hands of my colleagues (police), I tried to resign. Instead, they threatened to arrest me on charges of marijuana and alcohol trafficking if I didn’t comply with assignments. ”
On February 16, 1965, Wood claims that he forced members of Malcolm X’s security detail to plan an attack on the Statue of Liberty.
The plan was later foiled by the police and the two men were “arrested a few days before Malcolm’s murder.” At the time, I didn’t know Malcolm X was the target, “Wood wrote.
Wood signed the letter and directed his cousin to keep the information until after his death.
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“It is my hope that this information will be received with the understanding that I have kept these secrets with a heavy heart and I regret with regret my involvement in this matter.”
During the conference Saturday, Wood’s cousin Reggie Wood said he confessed to his involvement in 2011 when he believed a worsening cancer would take his life. He finally went into remission and lived until November 2020.
“For 10 years, I have kept this confession under wraps for fear of what might happen to me and my family if the government found out what I knew,” Reggie Wood said.
Now, Malcolm X’s three daughters, Qubiliah, Ilyasah and Gamilah Shabazz, have joined civil rights attorney Ben Crump in demanding that the murder investigation be reopened in light of “new evidence” shared on Saturday.
“Any evidence that provides a greater understanding of the truth behind that terrible tragedy must be thoroughly investigated,” said Ilyasah Shabazz.
In his later, dated January 25, 2011, the former officer claimed his actions were done under duress and fear of retaliations
Attorney Ray Hamlin added: “So what we are trying to do is talk about restorative justice as lawyers: try to seek ruthless justice.
“On behalf of Malcolm X’s legacy, Dr. Betty Shabazz, on behalf of her family, her bloodline that is here.”
Three members of the Nation of Islam, Mujahid Abdul Halim (also known as Talmadge Hayer and Thomas Hagan), Muhammad Abdul Aziz (also known as Norman 3X Butler), and Khalil Islam (also known as Thomas 15X Johnson), were convicted of the murder. Malcolm X in 1966 and sentenced to life in prison.
While Halim admitted to having participated in the murder, he insisted that Aziz and Islam were not involved. And the two maintained their innocence throughout the years.
Islam died in 2009 and Halim and Aziz have been released on parole.
Last year, the Manhattan district attorney began a review of his Islam and Aziz’s convictions after meeting with representatives of the Innocence Project.
Now, with the new evidence, the district attorney’s office says “the review of this matter is active and ongoing.”
The NYPD said in a separate statement that it “has provided all available records relevant to that case to the district attorney” and “remains committed to assisting with that review in any way.”
The FBI declined to comment on the matter.
‘Any evidence that provides greater insight into the truth behind that terrible tragedy should be thoroughly investigated,’ said Ilyasah Shabazz
Days earlier, Malcolm X had sinisterly told a journalist that he believed members of the Nation of Islam were seeking to kill him.
He was being watched by the FBI at the time. His home in Queens was bombed the week before his death.
Almost immediately after his death, conspiracies involving police involvement in the murder began to circulate.
Many of the theories centered on the ease with which murderers could enter the ballroom and the perception that the police had not preserved the crime scene.
One of the agents involved, Tony Bouza, would later write in his 2011 book “Manny Marable’s Malcolm X” that the “investigation was a failure”.
Malcolm X Quicks And Facts
The letter was said to be written by former undercover NYPD officer Ray Wood, who claims he was part of an FBI and police plot to kill Malcolm X
Malcolm X was killed on February 21, 1965 inside Harlem’s Audubon Ballroom
Wood says he was pressured by his NYPD supervisors to lure two members of Malcolm X’s security detail into committing crimes so they could be arrested
Those arrests kept the two men from managing door security at the ballroom and were part of conspiracy between the NYPD and FBI to have Malcolm killed, it’s now claimed
In his later, dated January 25, 2011, the former officer claimed his actions were done under duress and fear of retaliation
Now Malcolm X’s three daughters are calling for authorities to reopen their father’s murder investigation, exactly 56 years on from his death