Members of Malcolm X’s family have come forth saying that a police officer made a death-bed confession, allegedly admitting that the New York Police Department and the FBI conspired to assassinate the civil rights icon in 1965.
The family released a letter penned by a former undercover NYPD officer, Raymond Wood, during a news conference on Saturday, where Wood said he had been pressured by NYPD supervisors to convince two members of Malcolm X's security detail to commit crimes that resulted in their arrest a day before Malcolm was scheduled to make a speech at New York’s Audubon Ballroom.
This prevented the security men from being there to protect Malcolm X, and was a ploy by the NYPD and FBI to have him killed, the letter said, fueling skepticism by scholars who have purported that three members of the Nation of Islam – a group Malcolm X had been a leader of -- were responsible for his murder.
"Under the direction of my handlers, I was told to encourage leaders and members of the civil rights groups to commit felonious acts," Wood’s letter stated.
Wood's cousin, Reggie Wood, joined some of Malcolm X’s daughters at the site where the Audubon Ballroom was once located, to make the contents of the letter public.
The office of Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said last year it would review the convictions in the case.
Vance’s office released a statement after the news conference saying its "review of this matter is active and ongoing."
The NYPD said in a separate statement it has "provided all available records relevant to that case to the District Attorney" and "remains committed to assist with that review in any way," Reuters reported.
Malcolm X’s daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, said she remains skeptical about the events surrounding the shooting that killed her father.
"Any evidence that provides greater insight into the truth behind that terrible tragedy should be thoroughly investigated," she said.