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Man Exonerated Of Malcolm X’s Murder Sues NYC For $40 Million

A wrongfully convicted man who spent two decades behind bars for the murder of civil rights leader Malcolm X has filed a $40 million lawsuit against New York City.

Muhammed Aziz, 84, says he suffered “immense and irreparable” damage after spending 20 years in prison and more than 55 years of being wrongfully accused. 

Malcolm X was fatally shot in February 1965 while preparing to speak at the Audubon Ballroom in New York. Aziz was a 26-year-old Navy veteran when he was arrested for the civil rights leader’s murder. He and his co-defendants, Mujahid Abdul Halim and Khalil Islam, received life sentences. 

Halim admitted to the crime and testified that Aziz and Islam were innocent. Aziz was paroled in 1985, after 20 years behind bars. Islam was released in 1987, and Halim was paroled in 2010. 

Aziz and Islam had their convictions vacated last year when then-Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance cited new evidence that authorities withheld documents from the defense. The evidence would have prevented Aziz and Islam from being convicted of the crime they were accused of. 

Islam died at the age of 74 in 2009. His estate filed a $40 million lawsuit in Brooklyn federal court on his behalf. 

NYC Mayor Eric Adams said that the city was reviewing the lawsuits. He called Aziz’s and Islam’s exonerations “the just outcome.”

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