New information surrounding Malcolm X assassination comes to light in letter written on former NYPD officer’s death bed
New claims have been surrounded the death of Malcom X have surfaced in a letter written by a former New York City police officer on his death bed.
On Jan. 25, 2011, Ray Wood, who worked as an undercover police officer on the day of Malcolm X’s death, wrote a letter where he admitted he “participated in actions that in hindsight were deplorable and detrimental to the advancement of my own black people.”
Wood was hired by the NYPD in 1964, where his job was to “infiltrate civil rights organizations” to find evidence of criminal activity to ensure the FBI could discredit the subjects and arrest its leaders according to Wood’s letter obtained by ABC News.
Wood’s handler put together the arrest of two of Malcolm X’s “key” security detail members in a plan to bomb the Statue of Liberty days before his 1965 assassination, Wood wrote. The plot involved three members of a Black “terrorist group” and a Canadian woman who were planning to dynamite the Statue of Liberty, the Liberty Bell and the Washington Monument, the New York Times reported on Feb. 16, 1965.
“It was my assignment to draw the two men into a felonious federal crime, so that they could be arrested by the FBI and kept away from managing Malcolm X’s door security on February 21, 1965,” Wood wrote. “… At that time I was not aware that Malcolm X was the target.”
Malcolm X was assassinated in Manhattan’s Audubon Ballroom while addressing the Organization of Afro-American Unity he co-founded on Feb. 21, 1965. Three members of the Nation of Islam were convicted of his murder.
Wood wrote he faced failing health, and was concerned that the family of Thomas Johnson, one of the men convicted of killing Malcolm X, wouldn’t be able to exonerate him after Wood passed away. Johnson was arrested at the Audubon Ballroom the night Malcolm X was killed to protect Wood’s cover and “the secrets of the FBI and NYPD,” Wood wrote.
Wood put his confession into the care of his cousin, Reginald Wood Jr., and requested that the information be held until after he passed.
“It is my hope that this information is received with the understanding that I have carried these secrets with a heavy heart and remorsefully regret my participation in this matter,” Wood wrote.
Wood alleged in the letter that “his actions on behalf of the New York City Police Department (BOSSI) were done under duress and fear,” saying that he could have faced “detrimental consequences” if he didn’t follow the orders of his handlers.
“After witnessing repeated brutality at the hands of my coworkers (Police), I tried to resign,” he wrote. “Instead I was threatened with arrest by pinning marijuana and alcohol trafficking charges on me if I did not follow through with the assignments.”
NYPD spokeswoman Sgt. Jessica McRorie said in a statement that the NYPD has provided “all available records relevant to that case” to the district attorney’s office.
The FBI did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment.