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• Malikah Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X, had been ill prior to her Nov. 22 death. No foul play is suspected.
• Shabazz and her sisters said in February 2021 that they had a letter written by a now-deceased New York City police officer that linked the police department and the FBI to Malcolm X’s assassination in 1965. The police officer’s daughter said the letter was fake.
A viral Facebook post attempts to cast suspicion on the Nov. 22 death of Malcolm X’s daughter, Malikah Shabazz.
The image post says, "Malcolm X’s daughter found dead in NYC days after she exposed NYPD and FBI were behind Malcolm X assassination."
"Why is this not being broadcast over social media and news outlets," reads the text caption next to it.
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
Evidence does not support the claim that there is a link between Shabazz’s death and her family’s request to reopen the investigation into their father’s assassination.
Shabazz, who was 56, had a long-term illness before her death, the New York City police commissioner said. The city’s medical examiner released a statement that the cause of death had not been determined, but "the death does not appear to be suspicious following initial review."
On behalf of the family, Shabazz’s sister thanked people via social media for the outpouring of kindness after the death. We did not find any statements from the family that publicly addressed Shabazz’s cause of death.
Malcolm X was assassinated on Feb. 21, 1965, in New York City as he was beginning to speak to a gathering in a ballroom. On Nov. 18, 2021, two men convicted in the killing were exonerated after a review of the case showed that authorities had withheld information during the investigation. A 2020 documentary series, "Who Killed Malcolm X?" helped spur the reopening of the case.
The Facebook post also says, "The family revealed a letter written by a New York police officer that they say shows the NYPD and FBI were behind the 1965 assassination of their father."
The family did reveal a letter they said was written by a now-deceased New York City police officer, which allegedly said police officials had been involved in Malcolm X’s assassination. However, the post leaves out that the letter’s authenticity was disputed by the daughter of the police officer who was said to have written it.
Though the claim says the information was revealed a few days before Shabazz’s death, the family shared the letter publicly in February 2021, nine months prior.
A post says, "Malcolm X’s daughter found dead in NYC days after she exposed NYPD and FBI were behind Malcolm X assassination."
In February 2021, Shabazz and her family revealed a letter they said shed new light on the circumstances of Malcolm X’s death, though the letter’s authenticity is under dispute. But they released the letter nine months before Shabazz died on Nov. 22. And there’s no indication that the two events were connected, as the post suggests.
Shabazz had a long-term illness before her death and authorities said the death does not appear to be suspicious.
The statement contains an element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression. We rate this claim Mostly False.
Facebook post, Nov. 25, 2021
Los Angeles Times, "‘Who Killed Malcolm X?’ helped exonerate two men. Its host says he wants more answers," Nov. 18
NBC News, "2 men wrongly convicted of assassinating Malcolm X are exonerated," Nov. 19, 2021
New York Daily News, "Malcolm X daughter suffered from long-term illness before she died, NYPD commissioner says," Nov. 23, 2021
The Washington Post, "Malcolm X’s family reveals letter they say shows NYPD, FBI assassination involvement," Feb. 22, 2021
The Washington Post, "An NYPD cop allegedly confessed to aiding in Malcolm X’s assassination. His daughter says his letter is fake," Feb. 27, 2021
Twitter post, Nov. 27, 2021
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