Malcolm X's daughter says 'vindication' has finally been rendered for the 2 men exonerated in her father's murder
- Ilyasah Shabazz said she hopes the
exonerationof the two men wrongly convicted over her father's murder will bring peace to their families.
- "My family still seeks justice for the murder of our father," Shabazz said.
Ilyasah Shabazz, the daughter of civil rights icon
"Today, history will document that Muhammad Aziz and Khalil Islam have been cleared in connection with the murder of our father, Malcolm X," Shabazz told Insider in a statement. "I hope this long overdue vindication will bring a measure of peace to Mr. Aziz and his family, and to the family of Mr. Islam."
Aziz and Islam were two of the three men arrested and convicted of his murder. They both spent more than two decades behind bars and maintained their innocence up until their release in 1985 and 1987, respectively. Islam died in 2009.
The Manhattan District Attorney's office formally vacated their convictions on Thursday, more than 50 years after Malcolm X's murder.
"I apologize on behalf of our nation's law enforcement for this decades-long injustice, which has eroded public faith in institutions that are designed to guarantee the equal protection of the law," Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a statement Thursday.
Malcolm X was assassinated in front of his wife and four of his children while giving a speech on February 21, 1965, at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem, New York City. His wife, Betty Shabazz, was pregnant with twins at the time.
"...my family still seeks justice for the murder of our father," Shabazz said. "My young pregnant mother witnessed this horrific killing and yet was able to carry on, raise their six daughters, provide a love-filled life, while keeping the legacy and inspiration Malcolm brought to the world alive. Full justice will not be served until all parties involved in the orchestrated killing of our father are identified and brought to justice."
All three men arrested and charged were members of the Nation of Islam. Malcolm X was a minister for the Nation of Islam, but broke away from the group about a year before his death.
The New York Times reported in January 2020 just before the release of the Netflix special "Who Killed Malcolm X?" the Manhattan DA's office was lauching an investigation into Malcolm X's murder, which found that the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the New York Police Department withheld evidence including the presence of undercover police officers at his
"This marks a significant and long-overdue milestone for Muhammad Aziz and the memory of Khalil Islam," David B. Shanies, who represented Aziz and Islam, and helped reexamine the case, said in a statement Wednesday. "These innocent men experienced the agony of decades in prison for a crime they did not commit."
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