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Malcolm X's family files $100M lawsuit against NYPD, CIA and FBI

This lawsuit comes less than a year after the city of New York agreed to pay $36 million to two men wrongly convicted of Malcolm X’s murder.
Posted at 8:32 PM, Feb 24, 2023

Flanked by the family of Malcolm X, civil rights attorney Ben Crump announced a $100 million wrongful death lawsuit against the FBI, CIA, NYPD and others.  

"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," said Ilyasah Shabazz, Malcolm X’s daughter.

The lawsuit not only alleges these governmental agencies concealed evidence, but also "conspired with each other in such a way as to bring about the wrongful death of Malcolm X."

This lawsuit comes less than a year after the city of New York agreed to pay $36 million to two men wrongly convicted of Malcolm X’s murder.  

"If they would pay 10s of millions of dollars, to the two men wrongfully convicted for the assassination of Malcolm X, what is due to the people who suffered the most from the assassination of Malcolm X, — which were his daughters," Crump said. 

Muhammad A. Aziz and Khalil Islam were both convicted of Malcolm X's murder and spent more than two decades behind bars before their exoneration.   

Civil Rights leader Malcolm X

Former NYPD Officer Claims FBI Responsible For Malcolm X's Death

A letter written by a former NYPD officer reveals details about the night Malcolm X was killed.


Former Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who vacated the murder convictions, said the FBI and NYPD withheld key evidence that could have led to an acquittal.  

CK Hoffler is the former president of the National Bar Association and a veteran trial attorney.  

"If successful, this case could set a very strong precedent for if there's sufficient evidence, opening up some of those cases, some of those cold cases," Hoffler said. "There are many cases that are not high profile where there are injustices, and the actions are concrete. And there's clear evidence that maybe we don't know about. So the floodgates could be open in terms of an examination of some of those injustices."

At the time of Malcolm X’s assassination, he was one of the most prominent civil rights figures in the country. He was also in the middle of a high-profile split from the Nation of Islam and being investigated by the FBI and NYPD.  

Tamara Payne is the co-author of "The Dead are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X."

"He's threatened in New York, when he goes to New Jersey. He's going down to Philadelphia,you know, he's threatened on the road — his house the week before he dies is firebombed," Payne said. "Malcolm’s family was in the room when he was assassinated — brutally. The damage the trauma, it just doesn't go away because they need to know."

Ben Crump says discovering the truth once and for all about Malcolm X and his death is especially important now.   

"So many young Black activists have been put on watch lists by the federal government. Well, we know that this is nothing new. But if we don't accurately document it, then it would be as if it didn't happen," Crump said. 

Scripps News reached out to the NYPD, FBI and CIA for comment on the lawsuit. We’re waiting to hear from the FBI, but both the NYPD and CIA say they cannot comment on pending litigation.