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Malcolm X’s family calls to reopen investigation into his murder

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Malcolm X’s daughters have called to reopen the investigation into the late activist’s murder in light of new testimony implicating the New York police and the FBI.

They made this call one day before the 56th anniversary of Malcolm X’s death.

Ilyasah Shabazz, one of Malcolm X’s six daughters, said during a press conference on Saturday, Feb 20: “Any evidence that provides the greatest insight into the truth behind that terrible tragedy should be thoroughly investigated.”

Malcolm X, a prominent Black activist, was shot dead by three gunmen as he prepared to give a speech in the Audubon Ballroom, a theater in Harlem, in the north of Manhattan, New York on February 21, 1965.

When contacted by AFP on Sunday, Feb 21, a spokesman for the Manhattan district attorney said the office’s “review” of the Malcolm X case is “active and ongoing.”

During the press conference held on Saturday by the late activist’s family, a letter written by former New York police officer Raymond Wood, now deceased, was read out, in which he accused the NYPD and FBI of being complicit in the killing of Malcolm X.

According to his cousin, Wood, who was Black and worked as an undercover operative, claimed to have approached Malcolm X’s entourage on orders from his higher-ups.

Wood said he set up two of the activist’s bodyguards, who were arrested only a few days before the murder.

Wood, who did not want his testimony to become public until after his death, maintained that the New York police department and the FBI kept certain aspects of the case secret.

In February 2020, after the Netflix release of the docuseries “Who Killed Malcolm X?”, Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance asked his teams to review the case in order to determine whether or not the investigation should be reopened.

When contacted on Feb 21 by AFP, the New York police said it had released “all available records relevant to that case” to the DA’s office.

The NYPD “remains committed to assist with that review in any way,” a spokesperson said.

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