A former New York City police officer has, before his death, implicated the NYPD and FBI in the murder of civil rights leader Malcolm X on February 21, 1965.
A letter written by ex-undercover NYPD policeman Raymond Wood alleges his department and the FBI covered up details of the assassination, saying he was ordered to infiltrate the civil rights movement and had members of Malcolm X’s security detail arrested shortly before the killing.
On February 21, 1965, minister and civil rights activist Malcolm X, 39, was shot dead inside Harlem’s Audubon Ballroom in New York by assassins identified as members of the Nation of Islam. Three men were convicted of murder and imprisoned, and all were eventually paroled.
“I participated in actions that in hindsight were deplorable and detrimental to the advancement of my own Black people. My actions on behalf of the New York City Police Department were done under duress and fear,” said Reggie Wood, a relative who read Raymond’s letter aloud at a press conference on Saturday.
The letter said the arrests carried out in February 1965 by Wood meant Malcolm X did not have security at the entrance to the Audubon Ballroom where he was speaking that day.
It is unclear when Wood died, but he did not want the letter made public until after his death, saying he feared repercussions from authorities if he came forward with his allegations, according to Reggie Wood.
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