Malikah Shabazz
Malikah Shabazz

Malikah Shabazz, the daughter of civil rights leader Malcolm X, was found dead in her Brooklyn, New York apartment on Monday. She was 56.

Shabazz was found Monday in her home in Brooklyn, a police spokesperson said. Her death appeared to be from natural causes, he said.

Malikah and her twin sister, Malaak, were the youngest daughters of Malcolm X, who was assassinated on Feb. 21, 1965. Their mother, Betty Shabazz, was pregnant with the twins when their father was killed.

Malcolm and his wife, Betty Shabazz, had four other daughters. Malikah and Malaak are the couple’s youngest children.

Bernice King, the daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., mourned the passing of Shabazz in a tweet Monday night.

“I’m deeply saddened by the death of #MalikahShabazz. My heart goes out to her family, the descendants of Dr. Betty Shabazz and Malcolm X. Dr. Shabazz was pregnant with Malikah and her twin sister, Malaak, when Brother Malcolm was assassinated. Be at peace, Malikah,” wrote King.

The news of Shabazz’s death comes just a few days after two men who were charged and served prison time for Malcolm X’s murder were exoneratedThe development followed a 22-month investigation into the case that was conducted by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and the Innocence Project, which represented the two men, Muhammad A. Aziz and Khalil Islam. Investigators found that prosecutors, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the New York Police Department withheld key evidence that would have led to the men’s acquittal, per The New York Times

“This wasn’t a mere oversight,” said Deborah Francois, a lawyer for the men. “This was a product of extreme and gross official misconduct.”

Three members of the Nation of Islam were ultimately arrested and charged with the Malcolm X’s assassination. At the time, Mujahid Abdul Halim was known as Talmadge Hayer and Thomas Hagan, Aziz was known as Norman 3X Butler, and Islam was known as Thomas 15X Johnson. All three were found guilty of the murder and sentenced to life in prison.

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