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2 men allege police, FBI conspiracy in 1965 assassination of Malcolm X

59 years after Malcolm X's assassination, 2 men point fingers at law enforcement
59 years after Malcolm X's assassination, 2 men point fingers at law enforcement 02:50

NEW YORK -- There are new questions about who is responsible for the assassination of Malcolm X as two men come forward and point the finger at law enforcement.

Wednesday marked 59 years since the civil rights icon was shot to death as he prepared to speak in the Audubon Ballroom in Washington Heights. It happened in front of some 400 people, including nine police informants.

It took place one week after Malcolm X's home in Queens had been firebombed, so it was clear he was a target.

The assassination remains largely unsolved, but we are now learning new details in the case.

Wednesday night, at what is now the Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz Center in Washington Heights, Malcolm's daugther Ilyasah Shabazz spoke of that horrifying day.

"Our father was gunned down as he prepared to speak right here in that location," Shabazz said. "My pregnant mother placed her body over my three sisters and me to protect us from gunfire and to shield us from the terror before our eyes."

In 2021, two men convicted in the murder were exonerated, long after serving decades in prison.

"If I wanted to do it, I couldn't have done it. So that means they knew what they were doing when they put me in jail," said Muhammed Aziz, who is now 85 years old.

A third man -- Talmadge Hayer, who was held by police after the shooting -- confessed and always  claimed four other men were his accomplices.

"And yet they let them walk away scot-free," civil rights attorney Ben Crump said.

Wednesday, Crump introduced Khaleel Sultarn Sayyed, who said he was on Malcolm X's security team. He says he was falsely arrested by the NYPD five days before the assassination.

"I believe I was detained in this conspiracy by the NYPD ... and FBI in order to ensure Malcolm X's planned assassination would be successful," he said.

While so many originally involved in the case, including prosecutors and witnesses, are now dead, Crump says he has long requested that government officials release files still kept secret, which may help unravel the mystery.

"Why don't you release the information? Why don't you release the files, release the memos, release the reports, release the surveillance of Malcolm X? Fifty-nine years. How long is it gonna take for you to come clean?" Crump said.

Crump also produced an affidavit from a second man on Malcom X's security detail, who told a similar story of being detained by police so he could not be present at the ballroom the day of the assassination.

The case is still open.

There has been no comment from the NYPD or FBI.

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