The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said it will begin a “preliminary review” of the death of Omaha-born civil rights leader Malcolm X, the New York Times said, after a new documentary was released presenting evidence of two wrongful convictions in his assassination.
The documentary series, “Who Killed Malcolm X?,” which began streaming on Netflix on Feb. 7, presents evidence that two of the three men convicted for assassinating Malcolm X in 1965 are actually innocent.
Muhammad Abdul Aziz, who was paroled in 1985, and Khalil Islam, who died in 2009, have both maintained that they are innocent, according to the Washington Post.
Talmadge Hayer, the third man convicted in the assassination, confessed to the assassination and has said that Aziz and Islam are innocent, the Washington Post said.
The birthsite of Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little, is located at 3448 Pinkney St. in Omaha and is marked by a National Register of Historic Places sign. The Malcolm X Memorial Foundation has a building just steps away at 3448 Evans St.
Creighton’s Dawn Irlbeck, an associate professor of criminal justice, race and policing, took her Introduction to Criminal Justice class to the historical marker and memorial center on Feb. 7, the day the documentary series was released.
The trip was two weeks before the anniversary of Malcolm X’s death and the same day the documentary began streaming.
“I find it interesting that they are deciding to reopen the investigation into his assassination,” said Taylor Wiley, a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences. “I think it could play a role in educating the younger generation about Malcolm X and his value.”
Wiley is in the criminal justice course for her sociology major and went to see Malcolm X’s birth site with the class.
Wiley has not yet seen the documentary, but she said she would like to watch it to learn more about Malcolm X and U.S. history. She also said that as a student from out of state, it may help her better understand Omaha.
“I think as Creighton students, we have an obligation to look for more understanding and to connect with our community,” Wiley said. “Watching the documentary and going to the memorial can assist in that.”