Lawyers: New evidence in Malcolm X assassination points to possible conspiracy

NEW YORK -- Fifty-six years after the death of Malcolm X, lawyers said they revealed what they called new evidence of a conspiracy, perpetrated by the NYPD and the FBI to assassinate the civil rights activist in Harlem.

The family of Ray Wood, a Black man who worked as an undercover police officer in the 1960s, and their attorney now claim Wood wrote a letter on his deathbed confessing the NYPD and the FBI conspired to kill the man born Malcolm Little.

Malcolm X was gunned down in February 1965 in Harlem during a speaking engagement. Wood's family said in his letter, Wood stated his responsibility was to ensure Malcolm X's security detail was arrested days before the assassination.

The family said the letter further states this move would guarantee Malcolm X not having door security at the Audubon Ballroom where he was killed.

The letter was put in the hands of Ray Wood's cousin, Reggie, to be released after his death.

"He was a good man that was tricked and forced to betray his own people. And he felt guilt and remorse for it, for 56 years," said Reggie Wood, also the author of "The Ray Wood Story."

Today, Malcolm X's three daughters, along with Wood's family and high-profile civil rights attorney Ben Crump, are asking for the murder investigation to be re-opened in light of the new evidence.

"So, what we're trying to do is talk about restorative justice is as lawyers -- try to pursue relentless justice," said Attorney Ray Hamlin. "On behalf of the legacy of Malcolm X, Dr. Betty Shabazz, on behalf of his family his lineage who is here."

The three Nation of Islam members were convicted in Malcolm X's murder. In 2020, the Manhattan district attorney began a review of those convictions after meeting with representatives of the Innocence Project, a nonprofit committed to exonerating individuals who it claims have been wrongly convicted.

Now, with the new evidence, the DA's office said "the review of this matter is active and ongoing."

The NYPD released a statement on Saturday, that reads:

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 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.
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