According to an inquiry, the FBI and NYPD concealed information that could have led to the acquittal of Muhammad Aziz and Khalil Islam.
According to The New York Times, two men convicted of fatally shooting Malcolm X, Muhammad A. Aziz and Khalil Islam, are expected to be exonerated. The two men’s convictions are anticipated to be overturned on Thursday (Nov. 18), according to the site, after an inquiry unearthed information that the FBI and NYPD had previously hidden.
Following a 22-month probe into their conviction, attorneys for Aziz and Islam, as well as Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., announced the news on Wednesday (Nov. 17). According to the New York Times, investigators discovered that prosecutors, the NYPD, and the FBI concealed evidence from the murder of the civil rights leader that could have led to the two men’s acquittal.
Many people have long believed that Aziz and Islam, who were known at the time as Nation of Islam members Norman 3X Butler and Thomas 15X Johnson, were innocent.
The two men, as well as Nation of Islam member Talmadge Hayer, were detained after Malcolm X was assassinated on February 21, 1965. All three men were found guilty of murder and given life sentences. Aziz and Islam, on the other hand, maintained their innocence, while Hayer, who admitted to the crime, also stated that they were not involved.
In 1987, Islam was released from prison, but he died in 2009. Aziz was released from prison in 1985, and Hayer was released in 2010.
The Manhattan District Attorney stated on Wednesday that law enforcement neglected the two men’s families by detaining them on shaky evidence.
“This emphasizes the fact that law enforcement has frequently failed to fulfill its duty throughout history,” Vance added. “These men were not given the due process they deserved.”
Two undercover investigators were in the throng at Manhattan’s Audubon Ballroom on the day of Malcolm X’s killing, according to FBI papers. The FBI never provided this evidence when Islam and Aziz were convicted, according to the Manhattan district attorney’s probe.
Furthermore, according to NYPD data, a reporter received a tip on the day Malcolm X was slain, which was never revealed.
“This wasn’t a simple oversight,” said attorney Deborah Francois. “It was the result of egregious official wrongdoing.”