Malcolm X’s family is asking for the reopening of his murder investigation after the deathbed confession of a former New York police officer who claims he, the NYPD and the FBI were involved in the assassination.
The letter was released to the public on the anniversary of Malcolm X’s death.
The letter, which was written in 2011 by Ray Wood, explains that Wood helped to convince members of Malcolm X’s security team to get involved with a Statue of Liberty plot, getting arrested days before the planned assassination, leaving the civil rights leader with less protection on the day of the planned murder.
Wood’s letter stated, “The Statue of Liberty bombing idea was created by my supervisor handler. Using surveillance, the agency learned that Bowe and Sayyed were key players in Malcolm X’s crowd control security detail. It was my assignment to draw the two men into felonious federal crime, so that they could be arrested by the FBI and kept away from managing Malcolm X’s Audubon Ballroom door security on February 21, 1965. On February 16, 1965, the Statue of Liberty plot was carried out and the men were arrested just days before the assassination of Malcolm.”
He said he was urged by his supervisor to be at the Audubon Ballroom, but to DO NOTHING, no matter what happened.
Wood shared that he wrote the confession in hopes of clearing Thomas Johnson of the murder of Malcolm X.
“I am aging with failing health; recently I have learned of the death of Mr. Thomas Johnson and are deeply concerned that with my death his family will not be able to exonerate him after being wrongly convicted in the killing of Malcolm X,” Woods wrote.
He also revealed that witnesses identified him leaving the Audubon Ballroom that day, but he does not directly say that he killed Malcolm X.
He does say, however, that Thompson was arrested to cover up his involvement.
“On February 21, 1965 I was ordered to be at the Audubon Ballroom, where I was identified by witness while leaving the scene. Thomas Johnson was later arrested and wrongfully convicted to protect my cover and the secret of the FBI and NYPD,” the letter states.
Many of Wood’s statements leaves people to speculate that he’s fingering someone else — possibly himself — as one of the triggermen.
The family has hired civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who is demanding that the District Attorney offer “restorative justice.”
It is not known at this time why the letter was not released sooner.
More about Malcolm X:
Malcolm X – born Malcolm Little on May 19, 1925 – was an African American Muslim minister and human rights activist who was a popular figure during the civil rights movement. He is best known for his time spent as a vocal spokesman for the Nation of Islam.
He adopted the name “Malcolm X” while serving time in prison. After his release and under the guidance of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, “Brother Malcolm” became one of the most powerful Black men in the nation for his pursuit of racial justice “by any means necessary.”
On February 21, 1965, he was assassinated in New York City. Three Nation members were charged with the murder and given indeterminate life sentences. Speculation about the assassination and whether it was conceived or aided by leading or additional members of the Nation, or with law enforcement agencies, have persisted for decades after the shooting.
He was posthumously honored with Malcolm X Day, on which he is commemorated in various cities across the United States. Hundreds of streets and schools in the U.S. have been renamed in his honor, while the Audubon Ballroom, the site of his assassination, was partly redeveloped in 2005 to accommodate the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center.