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Malcolm X Assassination Being Reinvestigated After Netflix Docuseries Revelations

by : Julia Banim on : 12 Feb 2020 09:21
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The decades-old case of the assassination of civil rights leader Malcolm X is being reviewed following the release of a Netflix docuseries.

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The Manhattan district attorney’s office has announced the case will now be reviewed, mere days after the worldwide release of Netflix’s six-part docuseries Who Killed Malcolm X?

The district attorney’s office will be working alongside the Innocence Project, a non-profit organisation that works to exonerate those who have been wrongly convicted.

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Malcolm X was assassinated on February 21, 1965, while giving a speech at New York City’s Audubon Ballroom at the age of 39. His wife and children were present at the time the shots were fired.

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In 1966, three men were convicted, and sentenced to life imprisonment. These men were Muhammad Aziz, Mujahid Abdul Halim and Khalil Islam.

Although Halim confessed to his part in the assassination, he maintained Aziz and Islam were innocent. He also claimed to know the four other people involved, however he initially refused to identify them.

In the winter of 1977-1978, Halim submitted two separate affidavits stating Aziz and Islam had not been involved in the assassination, including details of the planning that went into the assassination as well as the names of those he claimed to be responsible.

You can watch the trailer for Who Killed Malcolm X? below:

Despite Halim’s written testimony, the case was never reopened. Aziz, now 81, is still fighting to clear his name, while Islam passed away in 2009. Both men continued to maintain their innocence over the many years since Malcolm X’s death.

Who Killed Malcolm X?, which originally aired on Fusion, posits Aziz and Islam could not have been at the Audubon Ballroom at the time of the shooting, with historian Abdur-Rahman Muhammad opening up new questions about what actually happened that fateful Sunday morning.

Manhattan DA spokesman Danny Frost said in a statement:

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District Attorney Vance has met with representatives from the Innocence Project and associated counsel regarding this matter.

He has determined that the district attorney’s office will begin a preliminary review of the matter, which will inform the office regarding what further investigative steps may be undertaken.

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Innocence Project co-founder and special counsel, Barry Scheck, has stated:

We are grateful that District Attorney Vance quickly agreed to conduct a review of the conviction of Muhammad Aziz.

Given the historical importance of this case and the fact that our client is 81 years old, we are especially encouraged that Mr. Vance has assigned two highly respected prosecutors, Peter Casolaro and Charles King, to work on this re-investigation.

[…] Mr. Casolaro did extraordinary work on the case of the Exonerated Five and Mr. King is an experienced member of the Conviction Integrity Program. We look forward to working cooperatively with them to see that justice is done.

Many questions about the assassination as of yet remain unanswered. However, what is known is that although physical evidence linked Halim to the crime, there was no physical evidence to implicate Aziz or Islam.

Aziz also had an alibi, and had reportedly been at home with leg injuries at the time of the murder. In the doc, Aziz recalls hearing news of Malcolm X’s death over the radio while he was resting his leg.

Who Killed Malcolm X? can now streamed be on Netflix.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Film and TV, Assassination, docuseries, Khalil Islam, Malcolm X, Muhammad Aziz, Mujahid Abdul Halim, Netflix, Who Killed Malcolm X?

Credits

Innocence Project
  1. Innocence Project

    An Innocent Man Spent 20 Years in Prison for Malcolm X’s Murder