Friday, May 13, 2011


12 May 2011

Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr.
United States Attorney General
United States Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530-0001

Dear Honorable United States Attorney General Eric Holder:

We, the Emmett Till Justice Campaign, do solemnly and formally request that you direct, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 533[1] and [3], both the Criminal Division and the Civil Rights Division, to jointly investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding the 1965 assassination of El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz [aka and hereafter referred to as “Malcolm X”]. This new request shall serve as a supplement to our April 6, 2011 original request made to Mark Kappeloff, Chief of the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division, to place Malcolm X on the list of unsolved civil rights era murders to be reviewed for possible investigation pursuant to the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act.

Furthermore, we firmly believe that 28 U.S.C. 533[1] and [3] amply provide the precedent, the legal authority, and the investigative infrastructure necessary for the US Department of Justice [the “DOJ”], in partnership with the States of New York and/or New Jersey, to conduct the most comprehensive and credible search, by the government, for the truth concerning Malcolm X’s assassination since February 21, 1965.

As you know, under 28 U.S.C. 533[1], the DOJ may conduct an investigation relating to the assassination of Malcolm X, to investigate the possible commission of federal crimes for which the applicable statute of limitations may have run, in order to establish the facts of the crime, independent of whether such facts may lead to a prosecution.

The DOJ also has authority, under 28 U.S.C. 533[3] to investigate the role of the DOJ or the Federal Bureau of Investigation [“FBI”] in the original investigation of the Malcolm X assassination. Such an investigation under 28 U.S.C. 533[3] could include a re-investigation of the facts surrounding the assassination itself, in order to assess the conduct of the FBI’s original investigation and determine the accuracy and completeness of its findings, as well as whether anyone within the FBI or the DOJ was involved personally in the assassination.

Included, you will find a May 3, 1979 petition filed on behalf of convicted assassins Norman 3X Butler and Thomas 15X Johnson, by their attorney, William M. Kunstler, with the Congressional Black Caucus, seeking a congressional investigation into the Malcolm X assassination. We stipulate, for purposes of our request, that we primarily rely on the purported facts contained within this congressional petition.

Specifically, we firmly believe that it would be in the public’s interest to fully investigate the following, but not limited to, matters:

[1] The firebombing of the East Elmhurst, Queens, New York, home of
Malcolm X’s family on February 14,1965;

[2] The assassination of Malcolm X in the Audubon Ballroom in New York,
New York, on February 21, 1965;

[3] The assassination of Benjamin Brown outside his “Universal Peace”
mosque in Bronx, New York, on January 6, 1965;

[4] The firebombing of NOl Mosque No. 7 in Harlem, New York, on February
23, 1965; and

[5] Whether or not William Bradley and Mustafa Shabazz are the same

On July 28, 1976, Antonin Scalia, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel ["Scalia"], issued an Opinion entitled “Jurisdiction of the Department of Justice to Investigate the Assassination of President Kennedy”. Scalia declared in the “Kennedy Assassination Opinion” that nothing in the language of 28 U.S.C. 533[1] requires the conclusion that the DOJ may not seek to “detect” crime when it cannot “prosecute” the violators. Scalia further states that “Indeed, there may be vital public interests served by establishing the facts surrounding the commission of a federal crime irrespective of whether the crime can be prosecuted”.

Scalia also points out the fact that there may be justification for an FBI investigation simply because the issue of the statute of limitations cannot be conclusively resolved without further information. This may also be true in the Malcolm X case. One potential suspect is alleged to have traveled from his home in the State of New Jersey, with a sawed-off shot gun, to New York and was the first one to shoot Malcolm X and then escaped back to New Jersey. The National Firearms Act of 1934 makes it a federal crime to be in possession of a sawed-off shotgun. 18 U.S.C. 3290 declares no statute of limitations shall extend to any person fleeing from justice. Therefore, an FBI investigation may initially be justified to determine whether this potential suspect is a fugitive from justice. Furthermore, 18 U.S.C. 844[d] makes it a federal crime to travel across the state line with explosives with the intent to destroy property or attempt to harm or kill someone, such as possibly may be the case in the firebombing of Malcolm X’s home and the firebombing of the NOI Mosque No. 7.

The Civil Rights Division Report on the Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. states that the federal investigators in their case had no subpoena power because the tolling of the statute of limitations on any underlying federal crime prevented the convening of a federal grand jury. To prevent that possible investigative shortfall in this inquiry, we are requesting that the DOJ engage in partnership, when necessary, with the States of New York and/or New Jersey to conduct a joint investigation with the States providing subpoena power from a state grand jury and cross-designation of a federal attorney to state court for any possible state prosecution.

Finally, the federal government has the special responsibility to protect and defend all citizens from violations of their rights secured by the U.S. Constitution and Laws of the United States. Therefore, we strongly request that you demonstrate your commitment to not abdicate or neglect your special responsibility in this matter by pursuing the truth and, if still possible, securing justice for Malcolm X and his family by any means legally necessary!

In the pursuit of justice,
I am,
Alvin Sykes
Emmett Till Justice Campaign

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