Letter Shines New Light on Malcolm X Assassination

It alleges a conspiracy involving the FBI and NYPD
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2021 5:50 PM CST
Letter Shines New Light on Malcolm X Assassination
Malcolm X in 1964.   (AP Photo, File)

Family members of Malcolm X say they have new evidence that shows that the NYPD and FBI conspired in the murder of the civil rights activist and one-time Nation of Islam spokesman, the Guardian reports. During a Saturday news conference at the site of the Audubon Ballroom, where Malcolm X was assassinated on Feb. 21 1965, three of Malcolm X’s daughters revealed a deathbed letter attributed to Raymond Wood, a former undercover NYPD officer. In the letter, Wood says that he was pressured to encourage members of Malcolm X’s security detail to commit crimes, which led to their arrests days before the assassination. The result was that there wasn’t door security at the ballroom. The letter alleges that the NYPD and FBI conspired to cover up details of the assassination and disrupt the Civil Rights Movement. “I participated in actions that, in hindsight, were deplorable and detrimental to the advancement of my own Black people,” Wood said in the letter, per Spectrum News.

“My actions on behalf of the New York City Police Department were done under duress and fear,” he wrote. Three Nation of Islam members were convicted in Malcolm X’s murder, per Reuters, which notes that some historians and scholars have said that they believe the wrong people were convicted. A 2020 Netflix documentary, Who Killed Malcolm X?, prompted Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. to review the case. And following Saturday’s new conference, the DA’s office said that the review is “active and ongoing.” In a statement, per the BBC, the NYPD said it “has provided all available records relevant to that case to the district attorney. The department remains committed to assist with that review in any way.” The FBI hadn’t publicly commented on the case. “Any evidence that provides greater insight into the truth behind that terrible tragedy should be thoroughly investigated,” said Ilyasah Shabazz, one of Malcolm X’s daughters. (Read more Malcolm X stories.)

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