Manhattan’s district attorney office is reviewing the details surrounding the 1965 shooting death of civil rights icon Malcolm X in Washington Heights, including looking over the convictions made for his alleged murderers.
The news of the review from Cy Vance’s office comes as the Netflix documentary ‘Who Killed Malcolm X?’ airs on the streaming platform starting on Friday.
Peter Casolaro is one of the assistant DAs assigned to the case.
Casolaro famously worked on the investigation that led to the exoneration of the Central Park Five, DA spokesman Danny Frost explained to the New York Daily News.
Frost also said that integrity bureau deputy chief Charles King would also be looking into the case.
The Innocence Project has been in talks with Vance over the case as well.
Frost shared that Vance ‘has determined that the district attorney’s office will begin a preliminary review of the matter, which will inform the office regarding what further investigative steps may be undertaken.’
There have been many points of speculation surrounding the 1965 death of Malcolm X at the Audubon Ballroom in Washington Heights.
Three Nation of Islam members were arrested and convicted of killing Malcolm X during the crowded event.
Authorities detained Thomas Hagan – known as Talmadge X Hayer – at the scene, where he confessed to the killing. Hagan said the other two men – Muhammad Abdul Aziz, known as Norman 3X Butler; and Kahlil Islam, known as Thomas 15X Johnson – as not being involved.
Islam died in 2009 while Aziz was paroled in 1985. He is 85-years-old today.
Columbia University professor Manning Marable published a book in 2011 identifying Al-Mustafa Shabazz as one of the killers. Shabazz appeared in a 2010 campaign video for Cory Booker prior to him becoming a U.S. Senator.
Shabazz, an ex-con, turned his life around after marrying activist Carolyn Kelley. He denied any involvement in the killings.
Garret Felber, an assistant professor at the University of Mississippi, is appearing in the Netflix documentary and talks at length on Twitter about how Malcolm’s death could have been tied to ‘state violence.’
‘First, it’s long been clear that Muhammad Abdul Aziz and Khalil Islam were not at the Audubon,’ he said on a Twitter thread.
‘But this idea of “justice” being served by convicting the “right” people is punitive garbage. While it’s unjust Aziz and Islam did time, it’s not justice to convict others instead.’
He continued: ‘The racist trope of “Black-on-Black” crime shields the state’s culpability. Headlines like this emphasized internecine struggle and fetishized the NOI (Nation of Islam). “Malcolm waged a struggle for supreme power. It failed,” said @nytimes. This narrative gives state violence a pass.’
It has long been speculated that Malcolm’s death was a government cover up, with Felber highlighting that there is evidence where several witnesses noted seeing a ‘second man’ getting apprehended by authorities. Felber suggests that the person was an ‘NYPD undercover agent.’
‘Who Killed Malcolm X?’ will reportedly point fingers at Shabazz and three other Nation of Islam members, taking the blame away from Aziz and Islam.