The family of Malcolm X formerly announced plans to file a $100 million wrongful death lawsuit against the CIA, FBI, New York State and the NYPD for allegedly concealing evidence in connection to the assassination of the civil rights leader, reports CBS News.
At a press conference at The Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center in New York City on Tuesday, attorneys Ben Crump and Ray Hamlin announced the lawsuit accompanied by two of Malcolm X’s daughters. Tuesday also marked the 58th anniversary of Malcom X's death.
“For years our family has fought for the truth to come to light concerning his murder, and we'd like our father to receive the justice that he deserves,” Ilyasah Shabazz said. “The truth about the circumstances leading to the death of our father is important—not only to his family but to many followers, many admirers … And it is our hope that litigation of this case will finally provide some unanswered questions. We want justice served for our father.”
“If the government compensated the two gentlemen that were wrongfully convicted for the assassination of Malcolm X with tens of millions of dollars, then what is to be the compensation for the daughters who suffered the most from the assassination of Malcolm X?” Crump argued.
"We intend to have vigorous litigation of this matter, to have discovery, to be able to take depositions of the individuals who are still alive, 58 years later, to make sure that some measure of justice can be given to Malcolm X's daughters," he continued. "The truth of what happened and who was involved has always been critical."
In November 2022, Muhammad A. Aziz and Khalil Islam were both exonerated after serving years in prison for Malcolm X's murder and were awarded $36 million in wrongful conviction lawsuits. New York City paid $26 million to Aziz and Islam, and the state of New York paid an additional $10 million. Aziz, 84, was released in 1985, and Islam, was released in 1987.
Mujahid Abdul Halim admitted to the shooting but said Aziz and Islam were not involved.
Nick Paolucci, a spokesman for the New York City Law Department said that the settlement can somehow rectify what has been described as a “serious miscarriage of justice.”
“This settlement brings some measure of justice to individuals who spent decades in prison and bore the stigma of being falsely accused of murdering an iconic figure,” Paolucci said in a statement at the time. “Based on our review, this office stands by the opinion of former Manhattan district attorney Vance who stated, based on his investigation, that ‘there is one ultimate conclusion: Mr. Aziz and Mr. Islam were wrongfully convicted of this crime.”
Manhattan DA Cyrus R. Vance Jr. and the men’s legal team conducted a 22-month investigation which found that "the prosecutors, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York Police Department had withheld key evidence that probably would have led to acquittals had it been presented to a jury.”
Crump also said he intends to take depositions of government officials who were allegedly part of the assassination.
"It's not just about the trigger men, it's about those who conspired with the trigger men to do this dastardly deed," said Crump.