Malikah Shabazz death: Daughter of Malcolm X found dead at Brooklyn home

Shabazz was one of Malcolm X and his wife Betty Shabazz’s six children

Shweta Sharma
Tuesday 23 November 2021 07:13
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Malikah Shabazz, one of the daughters of Malcolm X, has been found dead at her home in New York.

Police said Shabazz, who was 56, was found at around 4.30pm unresponsive in her home in Brooklyn, and later declared dead.

Two officials told NBC News that the city’s medical examiner responded to the scene, and that the death did not appear to be suspicious.

It comes around 57 years after Malcolm X’s killing and at a time when two of those convicted over the civil rights leader’s death are expected to be exonerated.

Shabazz was one of Malcolm X and his wife Betty Shabazz’s six children.

Malcolm X was assassinated at a New York City ballroom in front of his family at the age of 39 in 1965. His wife died in 1997 at the age of 63 after suffering severe burns in a fire that was started by her 12-year-old grandson. The grandson was later sentenced to juvenile detention.

Bernice King, daughter of civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr, offered her condolences for the death of Shabazz, saying she was “deeply saddened”.

“My heart goes out to her family, the descendants of Dr Betty Shabazz and Malcolm X,” she wrote on Twitter. She noted that Shabazz’s mother was pregnant with Malikah and her twin sister, Malaak, when Malcom X was assassinated. She added: “Be at peace, Malikah.”

Shabazz herself had run-ins with law enforcement for years on charges including larceny, forgery and identity theft.

In 2017, Shabazz and her daughter were arrested in southern Maryland on animal cruelty charges for stealing a rental truck that had injured pit bulls.

In 2011, she pleaded guilty to stealing the identity of an elderly woman, who was a family friend in North Carolina. She used her credit card with bills running to more than $55,000.

Malcolm X’s death again made headlines last week after a court found "significant evidence that was not known at the time of the trial" and recommended that two of the convicted murderers’ convictions be quashed.

Muhammad Aziz, now 83, and the late Khalil Islam were convicted for the murder of Malcom X along with a third man Thomas Hagan and sentenced to life imprisonment. They each spent some two decades in jail for killing the leader before being paroled in the 1980s. Islam died in 2009.

It was found that no physical evidence linked Aziz or Islam to the crime scene or murder of Malcom X and the two had alibis backed by witness testimony. The decision brought several spectators in court to tears, including Islam’s two sons Shahid Johnson and Ameen Johnson, who described the news as “good, but bittersweet”.

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