Who Killed Malcolm X? the presenter wants answers after rehabilitation

Less than two years after the seminal documentary series Who Killed Malcolm X? raised his main question and pushed for a reopening of the investigation into the murder of a civil rights hero, two out of three people convicted of the 1965 murder have been rehabilitated.

Manhattan Judge Ellen Beeben on Thursday rejected the convictions of Muhammad Aziz and the late Khalil Islam, each of whom spent more than two decades in prison for a crime he did not commit. The third person convicted of the murder of Malcolm X, Mujahid Abdul Halim, confessed in the initial trial to shooting the respected activist and said Aziz and Islam were innocent.

Abdur-Rahman Muhammad, historian and host of Netflix’s “Who Killed Malcolm X?” Islam died in 2009.

“I am extremely happy, satisfied and humble … to see this day come,” Muhammad told The Times in a telephone interview. “It’s an overwhelming emotion.”

Over the course of six episodes directed by Phil Bertelsen and Rachel Dretzin, Who Killed Malcolm X? sees Muhammad embark on a mission to uncover the truth behind the deadly shooting at the Audubon Ballroom in Washington Heights, New York.

Based on compelling evidence, as well as interviews with experts and eyewitnesses, this crime series claims that Aziz and Islam were never to blame for Malcolm X’s death. Aziz and Islam’s attorneys said a recent review of the initial investigation into the murder provided new evidence supporting Aziz and Islam’s innocence and concluded that authorities withdrew relevant information during the investigation, the Associated Press reported.

“I wanted to correct the historical records, but I also tried to restore justice in this case, because I knew that two men were unlawfully convicted of this crime,” Muhammad told The Times.

“And I also knew – from many, many decades of research – who really were … the killers.”

Who Killed Malcolm X? from the Lifetime movie Surviving R. Kelly, which played a pivotal role in the sex trafficking case against the R&B singer, to FX. Britney Spears’ framing, reviving the pop superstar’s anti-conservative movement.

Over the past three months, Islam and Aziz have been rehabilitated, R. Kelly has been convicted, and Spears’ guardianship has been terminated.

“This is the democratization of technology,” said Muhammad. “You can get very, very powerful documentaries even with the iPhone 12. … When storytelling gets so democratized, then it becomes much … easier to tell a story. …

“I mean, the R. Kelly story has been a terrible shame for decades and people knew about it. But … Survivor R. Kelly killed him just like Who Killed Malcolm X? corrected this historical injustice. “

Although Islam and Aziz were acquitted, Muhammad still wants to know why and how they were charged with the murder, as well as “the extent to which the government was involved or aware of the murder.”

With so many loose threads still hanging around this case, the scholar said viewers “can probably expect” a sequel to “Who Killed Malcolm X?” is the next chapter.

“Why were these people set up like that? That is the question, ”said Muhammad. “When the government knew who the real killers were, why didn’t they just arrest the real killers? …

“In the series, we have already shown the government’s complicity in inciting enmity, enmity and stinging rhetoric between … the Nation of Islam against Malcolm and his organization. We have to look at the counterintelligence program and the role they played in this. … Who were the nine undercover FBI informants who were present in the ballroom but who were never called to testify? Why not [Det.] Gene Roberts called to testify? … These are the questions we would like to ask. “