Muhammad Aziz, one of several men convicted of the 1965 killing of civil rights leader Malcolm X, is seeking $40 million in compensation from New York for the wrongful conviction, according to a case filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.
After spending 20 years in prison for the murder Aziz, who was a 26-year-old father of six children at the time of his conviction, was paroled in 1985.
In November, the Manhattan district attorney found that the convictions of the now 84-year-old Aziz and a co-defendant were the result of the corrupt behavior of police and prosecutors.
Aziz says he was home in the Bronx with a leg injury when Malcolm X was assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan.
Khalil Islam, also convicted in the death, was exonerated posthumously. He was paroled in 1987 and died in 2009.
Another man confessed to the killings and told authorities that Aziz and Islam were innocent.
Last year, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office said “no physical evidence tied Aziz or Islam to the murder or crime scene.”
“As someone who has fought for a fairer criminal justice system for my entire career,” New York Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement, “I believe the overturning of Mr. Aziz and Mr. Islam’s convictions was the just outcome. We are reviewing the lawsuit.”