Malcolm X’s daughter is suing the CIA, FBI and NYPD for murder
By Jonathan Allen and Brendan O’Brien
(Reuters) – A daughter of Malcolm X, the civil rights activist who was murdered exactly 58 years ago on Tuesday, has filed notices that she intends to sue the FBI, CIA, the New York Police Department and others over his death.
Ilyasah Shabazz accused various federal and New York government agencies of withholding evidence that they “conspired and carried out their plan to assassinate Malcolm X.”
“For years, our family has fought to get the truth about his murder out,” Shabazz said at a news conference at the site of her father’s murder, which is now a memorial to Malcolm X.
The New York City Police Department said it would not comment on pending litigation. The FBI and CIA did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Malcolm X rose to prominence as the national spokesman for the Nation of Islam, an African-American Muslim group campaigning for black separatism.
He spent over a decade with the group before becoming disillusioned, publicly breaking with them in 1964 and moderating some of his earlier views on segregation, angering some members of the Nation of Islam and issuing death threats.
He was 39 years old when three men with guns shot him onstage on February 21, 1965 as he prepared to speak at New York’s Audubon Ballroom. Shabazz, then two years old, was present with her mother and sisters. Soon after, some of Malcolm X’s associates said they believed various government agencies knew about the assassination plan and allowed it to happen.
Talmadge Hayer, then a member of the Nation of Islam, confessed in court to having been one of the assassins.
In 2021, a New York state judge threw out the conviction of two other men who had wrongfully served decades in prison for the murder of Malcolm X, saying there had been a miscarriage of justice. Hayer had long said the two men were innocent and that his accomplices were other members of the Nation of Islam.
The two men were exonerated at the request of the Manhattan Attorney’s Office, which said an investigation found prosecutors and law enforcement withheld evidence that, if surrendered, would likely have resulted in the couple’s acquittal.
In Shabazz’s notices of claims required under New York law to be served on certain government agencies before a lawsuit can be filed, Shabazz said she is seeking $100 million in damages.
The notices were served on authorities, who plan to sue them on Tuesday based on new information that emerged only recently, according to Ben Crump, her attorney, who said he intends to take testimony from government officials.
“It’s not just about the Trigger Men, it’s about those who conspired with the Trigger Men to commit this insidious act,” Crump said at the news conference.
(Reporting by Jonathan Allen in New York and Brendan O’Brien in Chicago; Editing by Leslie Adler)