A daughter of Malcolm X, the civil
rights activist assassinated 58 years ago to the day on Tuesday,
has filed notices that she intends to sue the FBI, the CIA, New
York City police and others for his death.
Ilyasah Shabazz accused various federal and New York
government agencies of fraudulently concealing evidence that
they “conspired to and executed their plan to assassinate
“For years, our family has fought for the truth to come to
light concerning his murder,” Shabazz said at a news conference
at the site of her father’s assassination, now a memorial to
The New York Police Department said it would not comment on
pending litigation. The FBI and the CIA did not immediately
respond to requests for comment.
Malcolm X rose to prominence as the national spokesman of
the Nation of Islam, an African-American Muslim group that fought for Black people’s rights.
He spent over a decade with the group before becoming
disillusioned, publicly breaking with it in 1964 and moderating
some of his earlier views on racial separation, angering some
Nation of Islam members and drawing death threats.
He was 39 years old when three men with guns shot him
onstage as prepared to speak at New York’s Audubon Ballroom on
February 21, 1965.
Shabazz, who was then 2 years old, was present
with her mother and sisters. Soon after, some associates of
Malcolm X said they believed various government agencies were
aware of the assassination plan and allowed to it happen.
Talmadge Hayer, then a member of the Nation of Islam,
confessed in court to being one of the assassins.
$100 million in damages
In 2021, a New York state judge threw out the convictions of
two other men who wrongly spent decades in prison for the murder
of Malcolm X, saying there had been a miscarriage of justice.
Hayer had long said the two men were innocent and that his
accomplices were other Nation of Islam members.
The two men were exonerated at the request of the Manhattan
district attorney’s office, which said an investigation had
found that prosecutors and law enforcement agencies withheld
evidence that, had it been turned over, would likely have led to
the pair’s acquittal.
In Shabazz’s notices of claims, which New York law requires
be served on certain government agencies before a lawsuit can be
filed, Shabazz said she seeks $100 million in damages.
The notices were served with the agencies she intends to sue
on Tuesday based on new information that only recently came to
light, according to Ben Crump, her attorney, who said he
intended to take depositions of government officials.
“It’s not just about the trigger men, it’s about those who
conspired with the trigger men to do this dastardly deed,” Crump
said at the news conference.
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 organisations.”