Malcolm X’s Family to Sue FBI, NYPD and Other Agencies Over Assassination
Gloria Oladipo, The Guardian, February 22, 2023
The family of Malcolm X has filed notice that they plan to sue the FBI, New York police and other agencies over his death.
The civil rights leader was 39 when he was assassinated on 21 February 1965, at an auditorium in the Washington Heights neighbourhood.
Three gunmen shot at least 21 times, as Malcolm X’s four children and pregnant wife ducked for safety.
On Tuesday, Ilyasah Shabazz, the third daughter of Malcolm X and the advocate Betty Shabazz, told reporters new details indicate federal and state agencies covered up evidence showing they “conspired to and executed their plan to assassinate”.
“For years, our family has fought for the truth to come to light concerning his murder and we’d like our father to receive the justice that he deserves,” Shabazz said.
The family is also seeking $100m in damages, said the lawyer Ben Crump.
“The governmental agencies had factual and exculpatory evidence that they fraudulently concealed from the family of Malcolm X and the men wrongly convicted of crimes surrounding the assassination of Malcolm X,” Crump said in a statement.
At the press conference, Crump said: “It’s not just about the triggermen. It’s about those who conspired with the triggermen to do this dastardly deed.”
Crump said high-ranking US officials conspired to kill Malcolm X. He repeatedly named J Edgar Hoover, the FBI director who died in 1972.
Two men, Muhammad Abdul Aziz and the late Khalil Islam, were prosecuted for the murder. They were exonerated last year, after an investigation found that the prosecution withheld key evidence that proved the men did not commit the murder.
“I do not need this court, these prosecutors or a piece of paper to tell me I am innocent … I am an 83-year-old who was victimized by the criminal justice system,” Aziz said after charges were dismissed.
The men spent more than 20 years in prison. Aziz and Islam’s family were awarded $36m by New York state and New York City.
Crump said: “The rhetorical question is this: if the government compensated the two gentlemen that were wrongfully convicted for the assassination of Malcolm X with tens of millions of dollars, then what is to be the compensation for the daughters who suffered the most from the assassination of Malcolm X?”