Two of the three men convicted of killing one of the most influential Black leaders and civil rights activist in the fight against racism, Malcolm X, are expected to have their convictions thrown out tomorrow on Thursday.
As one of the most notorious and monstrous murders of the civil rights era, The Manhattan district attorney Cy Vance and lawyers for the two men said, are rewriting history.
These two profound and honorable men — Muhammad A. Aziz and Khalil Islam — always maintained their innocence and dignity in the 1965 assassination of Malcolm X. Even during the many decades where their innocence was challenged, they rose and became of the most prominent leaders of the civil rights movement.
Thursday, their names will be cleared.
“This points to the truth that law enforcement over history has often failed to live up to its responsibilities. These men did not get the justice that they deserved”, said Mr. Vance
Sadly, Mr. Khalil Islam died in 2009, but Aziz, who is in his 80s, continued to fight to clear his record, according to the Innocence Project. Dead or alive, their names will be documented with a different narrative attached. A narrative of innocence and freedom.
“The events that brought us here should never have occurred; those events were and are the result of a process that was corrupt to its core — one that is all too familiar — even in 2021,” Aziz said Wednesday in a statement released by his lawyers.
“The day of the murder, which was a Sunday morning, I was laying over the couch with my foot up and I heard it over the radio,” Aziz recalled in “Who Killed Malcolm X?”
“I am an 83-year-old man who was victimized by the criminal justice system, and I do not know how many more years I have to be creative,” Aziz said in his statement. “However, I hope the same system that was responsible for this travesty of justice also take responsibility for the immeasurable harm it caused me.
“While I do not need a court, prosecutors, or a piece of paper to tell me I am innocent, I am glad that my family, my friends, and the attorneys who have worked and supported me all these years are finally seeing the truth we have all known, officially recognized,” he continued.
The start of new history was an approach that followed a 22-month investigation into the case and decades of speculation that it was mishandled from the start. the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York Police Department witheld key evidence that would likely resulted to the men’s acquittal.
Malcolm X was assassinated Feb. 21, 1965, at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City, where hundreds had gathered to hear him speak. Inside the crowded ballroom, three men opened fire, striking Malcolm X onstage where he was speaking.
The two men, at the time known as Norman 3X Butler and Thomas 15X Johnson, spent decades in prison for that very murder on Feb. 21, 1965.
“This wasn’t a mere oversight,” said Deborah Francois, a lawyer for the men. “This was a product of extreme and gross official misconduct.”
Unfortunately, those who were previously implicated but never arrested are dead.