Manhattan district attorney's office announced Monday that they will look back into the assassination of Malcolm X in wake of the new findings uncovered in the Netflix docuseries centered around his death more than five decades ago, CNN reports.
In Who Killed Malcolm X?, historian Abdur-Rahman Muhammad calls into question whether Muhammad Aziz, 81, was actually involved in the death of the civil rights activist when he was fatally shot upon taking the stage at the Audubon Ballroom in New York on Feb. 21, 1965. Aziz, along with Mujahid Abdul Halim and Khalil Islam, were convicted of murder in 1966, and sentenced to life in prison.
Halim confessed to his part in the assassination of Malcolm X at their trial while also maintaining that Aziz and Islam had "nothing to do with it," claiming that he knew the four other people involved, but refused to give up their identities. In the late 1970s, Halim submitted two separate affidavits asserting that Aziz and Islam were free of any wrongdoing. These statements included a detailed account of how the assassination attempt was orchestrated and executed with the names of the individuals that he claims were actually involved. The case, however, was never reopened.
Islam was released in 1987, and died in 2009. Halim was paroled in 2010. Aziz was released on parole in 1985, and became the head of the Nation of Islam's mosque in Harlem in 1998. He has since fought to clear his name, and despite being a decades-old battle, the Netflix docuseries may effectively help in his pursuit of justice.
The Innocence Project, a non-profit organization that fights to exonerate those wrongly convicted, is working with the Manhattan DA's office to determine if Aziz is innocent. "District Attorney Vance has met with representatives from the Innocence Project and associated counsel regarding this matter," Manhattan DA spokesman Danny Frost said in a statement. "He has determined that the district attorney's office will begin a preliminary review of the matter, which will inform the office regarding what further investigative steps may be undertaken."
In addition to Halim's testimony, and the Innocence Project's assertion that no physical evidence exists linking either person to the murder, Aziz claims that he was at home nursing an injury when he was made aware of Malcolm X's death. "The day of the murder, which was a Sunday morning, I was laying over the couch with my foot up and I heard it over the radio," he said.
Who Killed Malcolm X? can be streamed now on Netflix.