Malcolm X kin: Letter from former cop implicates NYPD, feds in his murder

Malcolm X’s family has released a letter it says was written by a deceased New York cop claiming the NYPD and FBI were behind the 1965 Harlem assassination of the civil-rights activist.

Malcolm X was gunned down at the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan a year after breaking ranks with the Nation of Islam.

Three members of the black separatism group were convicted in the shooting.

On Saturday, some of Malcolm X’s daughters released a letter attributed to a former undercover NYPD officer, Raymond Wood, at the site of the former hotel on 165th Street. The family members were joined by Reggie Wood, a cousin of the late officer.

In the letter, Raymond Wood allegedly wrote that NYPD supervisors pressured him into luring two members of Malcolm X’s security details into committing crimes that led to their arrests in the days before the activist was slain.


A copy of the letter attributed to a former undercover NYPD officer, Raymond Wood on February 16, 2001.
G.N.Miller/NYPost

The letter said the arrests provided the chance for lax door security at the hotel ballroom and were part of a conspiracy between federal investigators and New York police to have Malcolm killed.

“Under the direction of my handlers, I was told to encourage leaders and members of the civil-rights groups to commit felonious acts,” the letter stated.

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said last year that his office would reopen the case to investigate the long-held contentions by some historians and scholars that the wrong suspects were arrested for the slaying.

In the wake of the letter, Vance’s office released a statement saying its “review of this matter is active and ongoing.”

The NYPD said it is cooperating with the prosecutor’s effort. 

“The NYPD has provided all available records relevant to that case to the District Attorney. The Department remains committed to assist with that review in any way,” Sgt. Edward Riley wrote in a statement to the Post on Sunday

Two policemen carry stretcher bearing Malcom X after he was downed by an assassin’s bullets at a rally February 21, 1965.
Bettmann Archive

The FBI declined comment.

Ilyasah Shabazz, Malcolm X’s daughter, said she had always lived with uncertainty around the circumstances of her father’s death.

With Post Wires

NYC subway thief thanks Democrats after his 139th arrest, release: ‘Bail reform, it’s lit!’

Charles-BarryCharles Barry, 56, has been arrested six times since New York’s new bail reform law took effect Jan. 1.

 

A New York City man who’s now been arrested 139 times thanked Democrats for guaranteeing his immediate release despite repeatedly swiping hundreds of dollars from unsuspecting subway commuters since the state’s new bail reform law went into effect Jan. 1.

Charles Barry, 56, has been arrested six times since the start of this year. He’s been released each time without having to post bail under New York’s new bail reform law since his alleged offenses were nonviolent, the New York Daily News reported. In the past, Barry’s served several stints in state prison and has a lengthy record, including six felonies, 87 misdemeanors and 21 missed court hearings, the newspaper reported, citing court records.

“Bail reform, it’s lit!” Barry yelled to reporters Thursday outside the NYPD Transit District 1 headquarters in the Columbus Circle station before officers transported him to Manhattan Central Booking. “It’s the Democrats! The Democrats know me and the Republicans fear me. You can’t touch me! I can’t be stopped!”

After his most recent arrest Thursday, Barry was held in custody for about 36 hours until his Saturday morning arraignment hearing in his Manhattan Criminal Court. He was then released before trial without paying bail. He had two warrants out for his arrest for missing court dates related to past alleged subway theft, including one instance in January when he allegedly snatched a $50 bill out of a woman’s hand while she was trying to buy a Metro card at a Bryant Park station machine.

Officers arrested him Thursday after he was spotted jumping a subway turnstile in Penn Station. Barry, a career criminal, has repeatedly duped subway-goers by dressing as MTA officials and robbing people after offering to help them buy their tickets, police said.

“I’m famous! I take $200, $300 a day of your money, cr—-r! You can’t stop me!” Barry shouted to reporters.  “It’s a great thing. It’s a beautiful thing. They punk’ed people out for bullsh– crimes.”

A high-ranking official in the New York City Police Department said because of the new bail reform law, offenders like Barry are released and then repeat the same crimes because judges cannot order them to be held in jail before trial. Sometimes, what begins as a nonviolent crime often turns violent if a robbery goes awry, he added.

“At least before, he’d be remanded and be behind bars for a couple of days. He wouldn’t be able to victimize people,” Assistant Chief Gerald Dieckmann, the No. 2 officer in the NYPD’s Transit Bureau, told the New York Daily News. “When someone doesn’t pay them or give them the money, it’ll turn into a robbery, a slashing an assault.”

But Legal Aid Society, which represents Barry, argued the NYPD is using a few cases to spread fear over the new bail reform law.

“Mr. Barry’s case underscores the need for economic stability and meaningful social services, not a need to roll back bail reform,” the society said in a statement. “Locking up Mr. Barry on unaffordable bail or worse, remanding without bail, ultimately does nothing to protect the public and fails entirely to address his actual needs.”

 

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THIRD NYPD Officer Commits Suicide In 9 Days

An NYPD Officer took his life on Friday, the third member of the Department to do so in under two weeks.

EMS was requested to the 121 Precinct in Staten Island at around 4:00PM, for reports of an officer with a gunshot wound. The officer was found shot in a parked vehicle behind the Precinct at 55 Wilcox Street near Sanders Street. Unfortunately, he was pronounced dead on the scene.

Sources tell Breaking911 that the officer was a “Domestic Violence” officer at the Precinct.

The Department is still in shock after the recent suicides of Deputy Chief Steven Silks in Queens on June 5th, followed by the suicide of Detective Joseph Calabrese on June 6 in Brooklyn.

Silks had handed in his retirement papers to the NYPD the night before he killed himself. He was scheduled to retire at the end of July after 38 years on the job.

Calabrese was 58 years old, and was on the job for around 30 years.

2 fetuses found in Harlem as investigators continue search for 3rd in Queens!!

HARLEM, Manhattan — Two fetuses were found in Harlem overnight and investigators are continuing to search for a third newborn in Queens, police said Friday.

A fetus was found in a waste treatment facility on West 135th Street near 12th Avenue in Harlem Thursday around 11:40 p.m., police said Friday.

The fetus is of unknown age and gender, and was pronounced dead at the scene by EMS, according to police. The medical examiner will determine the baby’s cause of death.

This discovery was made after police responded to a Manhattan hospital where a 23-year-old woman arrived Thursday afternoon after allegedly giving birth and disposing of the fetus.

The woman allegedly told police the general location of the fetus, and police found the newborn in the trash outside a Harlem home on Amsterdam Avenue between West 131 and West 133 streets, NYPD officials said.

Friday’s investigations come two days after another 23-year-old woman arrived at a hospital in Richmond Hill, Queens, complaining of severe abdominal pain and trauma, police said.

The woman showed evidence of having given birth and told officials she delivered a baby on Sunday that was not responsive so she disposed of it, police said.

That fetus has not been located, police said Friday.

Charges have not yet been filed in any of the instances.

In New York, the Abandoned Infant Protection Act allows a parent to abandon a newborn baby up to 30 days of age anonymously and without fear of prosecution  if the baby is abandoned in a safe manner, according the state website.

According to the site:

A parent is not guilty of a crime if the infant is left with an appropriate person or in a suitable location and the parent promptly notifies an appropriate person of the infant’s location.

Under this law, parents may leave the newborn at places such as a  hospital, fire station or with police.

For more information regarding the Abandoned Infant Protection Act, call 1-866-505-SAFE (7233).

A list of free or low-cost services for expectant mothers, new mothers and women who have lost pregnancies across the five boroughs can be found here.

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NYPD cops fatally shoot bipolar black man holding metal pipe police mistake for gun on Brooklyn street!

 

Police said they were responding to three 911 calls that came in around 4:40 p.m. about a black man wearing a brown jacket waving what people thought was a silver gun on the corner of Utica Ave. and Montgomery St., NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan said at a press conference.

When the officers got to the street corner, Vassell turned to face them, aiming the object at them, Monahan said.

 

A bipolar Brooklyn man waving a metal object at passersby was fatally shot by police Wednesday when cops responding to 911 calls for a man with a gun said he “took a two-handed shooting stance” and pointed at them.

The man, identified by family members as Saheed Vassell, 34, was a Jamaica-born welder and the father of a teenage boy.

Police said they were responding to three 911 calls that came in around 4:40 p.m. about a black man wearing a brown jacket waving what people thought was a silver gun on the corner of Utica Ave. and Montgomery St., NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan said at a press conference.

When the officers got to the street corner, Vassell turned to face them, aiming the object at them, Monahan said.

“The suspect then took a two-handed shooting stance and pointed an object at the approaching officers,” the chief said, holding up a surveillance photo of a blurry figure standing next to a bodega ice machine with his arms outstretched.

Four officers — one in uniform, three in plainclothes — fired 10 shots, striking Vassell multiple times at about 4:45 p.m., Monahan said.

Police can be heard on emergency radio saying they were on scene at about 4:42 p.m. and 27 seconds later, officers were calling for an ambulance. The NYPD did not give an explanation when asked about that timeline.

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Saheed Vassell, 34, was shot dead by NYPD cops after he “took a two-handed shooting stance” and aimed a metal pipe at cops in Crown Heights, Brooklyn on April 4, 2018.

No firearm was found at the scene — and police said Vassell had been holding a metal pipe with a knob on the end.

Jaccbot Hinds, 40, who witnessed the shooting said officers jumped out of their unmarked police car and fired without warning.

“They just hopped out of the car. It’s almost like they did a hit. They didn’t say please. They didn’t say put your hands up, nothing,” Hinds said.

The NYPD refused to say if the responding officers warned Vassell before firing.

Vassell was taken to Kings County Hospital, where he died.

None of the officers wore body cameras, Monahan said.

article-copshoot11-0404

The victim was holding a metal pipe and aimed it at the officers in a “two-handed shooting stance.”

Bereft family members fought with security at Kings County Hospital after hospital staff refused to let them see Vassell’s body.

His 15-year-old son, Tyshawn, described him as a caring father who looked after him.

“He’s always been there for me no matter what,” Tyshawn said. “He’d always come check up on me, ask me if I’m good.”

He struggled to find the reason for the confrontation with police.

“He cared for everybody. If you saw him, he’d always be in a laughing mood. You would never catch him down,” Tyshawn said.

The shattered teen said he was still trying to process the news.

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Saheed Vassell’s father, Eric, said his son struggled with bipolar disorder and refused treatment.

 

“This is what our society has come to,” he said.

Eric Vassell, 63, the slain man’s father, said that his son, who went to Wingate High School, struggled with bipolar disorder, but refused treatment.

“He hasn’t taken his medication for years,” the father said.

The elder Vassell said he used to fret about Saheed.

“We were always worried for him. We would say should anything happen to him, we just have to do what we can do,” he said.

He, too, struggled for answers Wednesday night.

“Why shoot to kill?” he said. “Are you so afraid that you have to take his life.”

Witnesses said the gunfire threw the afternoon into chaos.

“I heard all these shots, I thought it was firecrackers at first. I turned around and you just see the cops standing over the guy,” witness Chris J. said. “First it was one, then it was nonstop after that.”

The witness, who was sitting in a salon across the street, said a plainclothes officer handcuffed Vassell as he lay motionless on the sidewalk.

“Blood was everywhere,” Chris said. “They put him on his back and they tried to compress his chest but he was gone.”

One bullet shattered a window at Chucky Fresh Market at 414 Utica Ave.

“There were gunshots, and I just ducked,” said a clerk who declined to identify himself. “A minute later, cops were everywhere.”

After the shooting, an angry crowd formed at the edge of the police tape shouting at police and pointing out the officers they believed to be responsible.

“The whole community came outside,” he added. “People were going crazy. It was a nightmare out there.”

Vassell was known as a quirky neighborhood character with some mental health issues. His family said that he struggled with alcohol, but the community knew he meant no harm.

Andre Wilson, 38, who’s known Vassell for 20 years, said he was odd but harmless.

“All he did was just walk around the neighborhood,” Wilson said. “He speaks to himself, usually he has an orange Bible or a rosary in his hand. He never had a problem with anyone.”

Wilson said he was shocked that it would come to this.

“The officers from the neighborhood, they know him. He has no issue with violence … This shouldn’t have happened at all.”

Vassell’s ex-partner, Sherlan Smith, 36, mother to Tyshawn, said she parted with Vassell on good terms.

“He was a good father. He wasn’t a bad person. No matter how they want to spin it, he wasn’t a bad person,” Smith said. “Too many black people are dying at hands of police officers and it’s about time something be done.”

On the fence outside Vassell’s building a sign read, “Without Consequences Police Murders Will Continue”, on the back it said “Black Lives Matter.”

She also noted the bleak symbolism of Vassell getting shot on April 4.

“On the anniversary of the man who stood up for black people … you’re going take a black man down with nine bullets,” Smith said.

The shooting comes as the nation paused to reflect on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King.

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