By Lacey Berig
“If you are not ready to die for it, put the word ‘freedom’ out of your vocabulary.” – Malcolm X
The newly released Netflix documentary Who Killed Malcolm X? resurfaces eye-witness accounts and old facts, prompting a re-investigation into the killing of Malcolm X, who inspired thousands to take a stand against injustice and oppression in the 1950s and 60s. He was assassinated on February 21, 1965.
According to ABC News, Phil Bertelsen and Rachel Dretzin — co-directors and producers of this documentary — said, “There’s been considerable doubt about the guilt of two of the three men convicted in the assassination of Malcolm X.”
The documentary explores events surrounding Malcolm X’s murder, as well as his relationship with the Nation of Islam and its leader at the time, Elijah Muhammad.
The three men convicted of Malcolm’s murder were Mujahid Abdul Halim (Talmadge Hayer or Thomas Hagan), Muhammad Abdul Aziz (Norman 3X Butler), and Khalil Islam (Thomas 15X Johnson).
Halim was captured at the scene after being shot in the leg by one of Malcolm’s bodyguards.
Aziz and Islam were convicted in 1966 despite their alibis and Halim’s testimony in court that the two were not involved.
Islam spent 22 years in prison and died in 2009.
After spending 20 years in prison, Aziz was released in 1985 and has continued fighting to clear his name—even at 81 years old.
The Innocence Project, an organization founded to exonerate those who were wrongly convicted and reform the criminal justice system, partnered with civil rights attorney David Shanies to reconsider Aziz’s conviction.
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