Malcolm X’s daughter to sue CIA and FBI for wrongful death

Ilyasah Shabazz, a daughter of Malcolm X, second from right, speaks during a news conference at the Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center in New York, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023. Some of Malcom X's family members and their attorneys announced their intent to sue governmental agencies for Malcom X's assassination and the fraudulent concealment of evidence surrounding the murder. In 1965, minister and civil rights activist Malcolm X, 39, was shot to death inside Harlem's Audubon Ballroom in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
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Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — The family of slain civil rights leader Malcolm X marked on Tuesday the anniversary of his 1965 assassination by announcing plans to sue agencies including the CIA, FBI, the New York Police Department and others for $100 million, accusing them of playing a role in his death.

Two of his daughters, Ilyasah Shabazz and Qubilah Shabazz, were joined by attorney Ben Crump at a news conference at the site of the former Audubon Ballroom in upper Manhattan, where Malcolm X was fatally shot as a crowd gathered to hear him speak on Feb. 21, 1965.

For decades questions have circulated over who was responsible for his death.

Three men were convicted, but two were exonerated in 2021 after a renewed investigation into the cases against them showed the evidence used to gain convictions was shaky and that authorities had held back some information.

Ilyasah Shabazz, the co-administrator of her father’s estate, filed notices of claim, which is the first step in the process, saying that the agencies “conspired with each other and with other individuals and acted, and failed to act, in such a way as to bring about the wrongful death of Malcolm X.”

“For years our family has fought for the truth to come to light,” she said at the news conference. “We want justice served for our father.”

Emails seeking comment were sent to the CIA, FBI, Department of Justice and New York City’s legal department. The DOJ and NYPD declined to comment.

Crump noted the anniversary date and said that ever since then, “there has been speculation as to who was involved in the assassination of Malcolm X.”

He cited the 2021 exonerations and said that government agencies including the Manhattan district attorney, the NYPD and the FBI “had factual evidence, exculpatory evidence that they fraudulently concealed from the men who were wrongfully convicted for the assassination of Malcolm X.”

Asked if he believes government agencies conspired to assassinate Malcolm, Crump said, “That is what we are alleging, yes. They infiltrated many civil rights organizations.”