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Malcolm X’s daughter found dead in Brooklyn apartment

Officers investigate the death of Malcolm X's daughter Malikah Shabazz in Midwood Monday night.
REUTERS/Lloyd Mitchell

Malikah Shabazz, daughter of the late civil rights icon Malcolm X, died Monday in her Midwood apartment, according to police.

Authorities say Shabazz, 56, was found dead at her E. 28th Street home at about 4:40 p.m.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea told PIX 11 Tuesday morning that Shabazz had been ill for a period of time, and that cops currently do not suspect foul play.

Shabazz and her twin sister Malaak were the youngest of Malcolm X’s children. Their mother, Betty Shabazz, was pregnant with them when their father was assassinated in Washington Heights in February 1965.

Shabazz’s death comes just days after Muhammad Aziz and the late Khalil Islam, who spent decades in jail after being convicted of assassinating Malcolm X, were formally exonerated in court for the murder. Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said that the FBI and NYPD both withheld evidence from prosecutors that could have potentially been exculpatory in open court.

In the case of the FBI, notorious bureau director J. Edgar Hoover himself allegedly instructed witnesses not to speak to investigators, lest their cover as FBI informants spying on civil rights and Black nationalist organizations be blown.

Malcolm X in 1964.Library of Congress

Malcolm X spent over a decade as a national spokesperson for the Nation of Islam, becoming a household name for his fiery denunciation of white supremacy and embrace of Black nationalism, while also courting controversy for his statements promoting violence in the name of justice.

Questions have persisted for years as to the potential role of law enforcement and the Nation of Islam in Malcolm X’s death — the FBI and police spied on Malcolm X for years, perceiving him as a threat to the white political order. He also publicly and acrimoniously broke with the Nation of Islam a year before his death.

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