Members of Malcolm X’s family have presented new allegations regarding the death of the notorious civil rights activist. They say the allegations were in a letter on the deathbed of a former police officer.
The letter stated that the New York Police Department and the FBI were behind the 1965 murder.
The letter was released during a press conference on Saturday at the site where the Audubon Ballroom once stood. This is where Malcolm X was shot.
Family members said the letter was written by a former NYPD undercover officer Raymond Wood.
In the letter of January 25, 2011, Wood, who was on duty on the day of Malcolm X’s death, confessed to having “participated in actions which, in hindsight, were deplorable and detrimental to the advancement of my own black people. “.
“Under the direction of my managers, I was told to encourage leaders and members of civil rights groups to commit criminal acts,” Wood said in the letter.
Wood said he was coerced by his NYPD supervisors to instigate members of Malcolm X’s security service to commit crimes which culminated in their arrest days before the deadly shooting.
“It was my mission to lure the two men into a federal felony so that they could be arrested by the FBI and prevented from handling the security of Malcolm X’s door on February 21, 1965,” Wood wrote. “At that point, I didn’t know Malcolm X was the target.
The arrests were part of a plot between the NYPD and the FBI to have Malcolm X killed, the letter said.
Malcolm X was a human rights activist and prominent black nationalist leader who served as a spokesperson for the Nation of Islam, an African-American Muslim group that embraced black separatism, in the 1950s and 1960s. A skilled speaker, Malcolm X encouraged black people to fight racism by any means necessary.
The civil rights leader broke with the Nation of Islam shortly before his assassination at the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan, where he was preparing to address the Organization of African-American Unity. Three members of the Nation of Islam were sentenced for the shooting.
The office of Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance began reviewing the convictions last year.
After Saturday’s press conference, Vance’s office issued a statement saying its “review of this matter is active and ongoing.” The NYPD also provided a statement saying it has “provided all available records relating to this matter to the district attorney” and “remains committed to assisting in any way with this review.”
Malcolm X’s daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, said she had always been uncertain about her father’s death.
“Any evidence that sheds light on the truth behind this terrible tragedy must be thoroughly investigated,” she said at the press conference.