American activist’s family asks to investigate new evidence of his murder

The daughters of the American civil rights leader Malcolm X asked to investigate new evidence that has come to light about the murder of his father. It is a letter that he left before he died Raymond Wood, who was a police officer at the time of the murder, which occurred 56 years ago, on February 21, 1965.

In the message, Wood claimed that the NYPD and the FBI conspired in the crime. Wood wrote that his responsibility was to ensure that Malcolm X’s security team was arrested days before he was shot to death in Manhattan, his family said.

Three men, all members of the Nation of Islam political and religious movement, were sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder. One of them has already died, while the others have been released on parole.

In a moment, Malcolm X was seen as a public face of the Nation of Islam, but then gave up the movement. When he was assassinated, he had tempered his militant message of African-American separatism. Nevertheless, remained a passionate advocate for African-American unity, the respect and self-sufficiency of the community.

Malcolm X was 39 years old when he was murdered

In 2020, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office launched a review of the convictions after meeting with representatives of the Innocence Project, a nonprofit legal group that campaigns for people it said were wrongly convicted.

The letter stated that the Department of New York Police (NYPD) and the FBI covered up the details of the murder It happened at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem, Upper Manhattan, according to Wood’s family and his attorney.

Wood claimed he was tasked with making sure Malcolm X did not have security at the door of the building where he was supposed to speak in public.. At a news conference Saturday, members of Wood’s family did not provide details on how and when Wood had died.

But they said they did not want to release the letter until after his death, fearing repercussions from authorities. « Any evidence that provides a greater understanding of the truth behind this terrible tragedy must be thoroughly investigated », He said Ilyasah Shabazz, one of Malcolm X’s daughters.

The Manhattan district attorney, Cy Vance, already assured in 2020 that would review the convictions in the case.

After Saturday’s conference, Vance’s office released a statement saying that « The review of this matter is active and in progress ». In a statement, the NYPD said: « Several months ago, the Manhattan district attorney initiated a review of the investigation and prosecution for the murder of Malcolm X. »

« The NYPD provided all relevant available records for that case to the district attorney. The department remains committed to helping with that review in any way. ”

Up to now, the FBI did not comment publicly on the matter.

BBC World