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Malcolm X's family demands reopening of murder probe22 February 2021

Demand comes in light of deathbed letter from former police officer

The family of Malcolm X has requested that an assassination investigation be reopened into the death of the US civil rights leader in light of new evidence.

"Any evidence that provides greater insight into the truth behind that terrible tragedy should be thoroughly investigated," Ilyasah Shabazz, one of Malcolm X's daughters, said in a press conference on Saturday.

Shabazz was referring to a deathbed letter left by a former policeman who had been on the force during the 1965 killing. In the letter, the officer, Raymond Wood, recounted that he had been part of a cover-up plot by the New York Police Department (NYPD) and FBI.

Wood's letter claims that the NYPD and the FBI obscured details of the murder and that his task was to ensure that there was nobody to guard the entrance where the activist was scheduled to make a public address.

Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little, was gunned down at the age of 39 in Manhattan's Audubon Ballroom in 1965. Three members of the Nation of Islam group were convicted for the murder.

He became known as a hero to both Black Americans and the Islamic world in his pursuit of a post-colonial identity and is remembered by many as an icon in the struggle for freedom, equality and justice.

"Several months ago, the Manhattan district attorney initiated a review of the investigation and prosecution that resulted in two convictions for the murder of Malcolm X," the NYPD responded to the call of the family in a statement.

"The NYPD 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," it added.

The FBI has yet to offer a public comment on the matter.

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