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Malcolm X’s family to file $100M lawsuit alleging coverup of his assassination

In this May 16, 1963, file photo, civil rights leader Malcolm X speaks to reporters in Washington, D.C.

The family of Malcolm X, the civil rights icon who was assassinated in 1965, will file a $100 million wrongful death lawsuit against federal and state government agencies for allegedly concealing evidence related to his killing.

The  family, along with their lawyers, said at a press conference on Tuesday that they were seeking “justice” for Malcolm X, who was shot and killed while speaking in New York city in February 1965.

“For years our family has fought for the truth to come to light concerning his murder, and we’d like our father to receive the justice that he deserves,” Ilyasah Shabazz, his daughter, said. “The truth about the circumstances leading to the death of our father is important – not only to his family, but to many followers, many admirers … And it is our hope that litigation of this case will finally provide some unanswered questions.”

Lawyers for the family said the suit will name New York state, New York City, the CIA and the FBI as defendants in the case.

The suit comes as two men who were wrongfully convicted of the killing of Malcolm X — Muhammad Abdul Aziz and Khalil Islam — were awarded $36 million by New York late last year following lawsuits they filed. Both spent over 20 years in prison. Lawyers for the Malcolm X family argue that they are also entitled to compensation.

“If the government compensated the two gentlemen that were wrongfully convicted for the assassination of Malcolm X with tens of millions of dollars, then what is to be the compensation for the daughters who suffered the most from the assassination of Malcolm X?” their attorney Ben Crump said.

The announcement comes on the 58th anniversary of Malcolm X’s killing, which has long been subject to debate from scholars and civil rights advocates who argue that the government and law enforcement played a role in his assassination at age 39.

The probe that ultimately exonerated both Aziz and Islam concluded that the FBI did not disclose documents that would have cast doubt on their involvement in the killing and that there had been “unacceptable violations of law and the public trust” in the investigation.

Tags cia civil rights FBI Malcolm X

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