Malcolm X’s family is demanding that an investigation be reopened into their father’s death after releasing a letter written by a deceased NYPD officer alleging that the police and FBI orchestrated the events that led to his murder in 1965, Reuters reports.
On Saturday, Malcolm X’s daughters held a news conference where they were joined by Reggie Wood, cousin of former undercover cop Raymond Wood, who allegedly penned the letter stating he was pressured by his supervisors to make certain that two members of Malcolm’s security team were arrested days before the shooting. The absence of those individuals ensured that no one would be able to man the door at the Audubon Ballroom in New York where he was later killed.
“Under the direction of my handlers, I was told to encourage leaders and members of the civil rights groups to commit felonious acts,” Wood wrote in the letter that he asked to be released after his death out of fear of repercussion for breaking his silence.
“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 said in a statement, per BBC. “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.”
Three men, all of whom were members of the Nation of Islam, were arrested and sentenced to life in prison. Talmadge X Hayer confessed to the crime and admitted in an affidavit that he concocted the assassination plot with four others, but stated Norman 3X Butler and Thomas 15X Johnson, the other two convicted in Malcolm’s death, were innocent.
“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.