The daughter of a deceased city police officer claims a letter said to be written by her father — stating the NYPD and FBI were behind the assassination of Malcolm X — is a fraud.
Daughters of the civil rights leader teamed up with Reggie Wood, the cousin of former undercover NYPD officer Raymond Wood, last weekend at the scene of the Harlem murder to make the letter public.
Kelly Wood debunked its authenticity in an interview with NY1 on Friday.
In the letter, Raymond Wood allegedly wrote that NYPD supervisors pressured him into luring two members of Malcolm X’s security detail into committing crimes that led to their arrests, supposedly making the activist an easy target for conspiratorial gunmen at the former Audubon Ballroom in 1965.
Wood’s daughter Kelly now tells NY1 the letter was forged and her father’s cousin read it out loud to the media to gain publicity for himself.
“I know that my father did not write this letter,” Wood told the cable news station. “I know that is not his signature and I know the envelope they’re using to somehow justify that the letter was mailed is also a fake.”
Woods also reportedly disputed the idea that her father would only want the letter to be released after his November death, to avoid facing its consequences.
“My father is not a coward. He would have never, ever asked anyone to speak on his behalf after his passing. If he had something to say, he would have said it when he was alive,” she told NY1.
Wood added that the signature on the letter was not her father’s.
Three members of the Nation of Islam were convicted in the shooting, but some historians and members of Malcom X’s family have expressed doubts that the men were behind the killing.
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said last year that his office would reopen the case to investigate if the wrong suspects were arrested.
In the wake of the letter, Vance’s office released a statement saying its “review of this matter is active and ongoing.”
After the letter was released Saturday, the NYPD told the Post it is cooperating with prosecutors.
“Any evidence that provides greater insight into the truth behind that terrible tragedy should be thoroughly investigated,” said Ilyasah Shabazz, one of Malcolm X’s daughters at the Harlem press conference.