Summary List Placement
New evidence announced by Malcolm X’s family claims that the NYPD and FBI were involved with the civil rights leader’s assassination.
A letter written by Raymond Wood, an undercover cop who worked for the New York City Police department between 1964 to 1971, included a confession about his role in Malcolm X’s death and claimed that the FBI and the NYPD were involved in the coverup.
“I participated in actions that in hindsight were deplorable and detrimental to the advancement of my own black people,” Wood wrote in the letter obtained by Insider. It was released by a relative upon his death. “My actions on behalf of the New York City Police Department (BOSSI) were done under duress and fear that if I did not follow the orders of my handlers I could face detrimental consequences.”
In the letter, Wood said that he was assigned, without training, to the BOSSI unit to “infiltrate civil rights organizations throughout New York City,” and “to find evidence of criminal activity, so the FBI could discredit and arrest its leaders.”
Wood’s letter says he was tasked to ensure that members of Malcolm X’s security team were arrested days before a speaking engagement at Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan in 1965, where he was shot 15 times.
“It was my assignment to draw the two men into a felonious federal crime, so that they could be arrested by the FBI and kept away from managing Malcolm X’s Audubon Ballroom door security on February 21, 1965,” the letter says.
Three men, all members of the Nation of Islam, were later convicted in the murder of Malcolm X, who died at the age of 39. Mujahid Abdul Halim, Muhammad Abdul Aziz, and Khalil Islam were sentenced to life in prison, but Aziz and Islam claimed they had nothing to do with the murder.
According to the letter, Wood wrote that Thomas Johnson, also known as Khalil Islam, was “wrongfully convicted to protect my cover and the secrets of the FBI and NYPD.”
Wood’s letter, which is dated from 2011, was read to Malcolm X’s family by Reggie Wood — a relative of the late NYPD officer — at a news conference on Saturday, according to a press release from national civil rights attorney, Ben Crump.
According to the BBC, the family of Malcolm X is calling to reopen the murder investigation into the civil rights icon. As the publication reported, Malcolm X’s daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, said, “Any evidence that provides greater insight into the truth behind that terrible tragedy should be thoroughly investigated.”
My father in Cairo weeks before he’d be assassinated at age 39. Despite following his every move an FBI informant called him, “a man of high moral character who neither smokes nor drinks.” He spoke truth to power, and we know that truth is timeless. Rest In Peace, Dad 2/21/1965🌟 pic.twitter.com/EHZPom8y1A
— ILYASAH❌SHABAZZ (@ilyasahShabazz) February 21, 2021
Last year, several civil rights leaders and organizations called for the reopening of an investigation into Malcolm X’s assassination amid a 2020 Netflix documentary, “Who Killed Malcolm X,” which prompted a review by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, as The Guardian reported.
“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,” an NYPD spokesperson said in an emailed statement to Insider. “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.”