Wood is the cousin of undercover officer Raymond Wood. He said during a news conference that his late cousin confessed to him that he had been pressured by his NYPD supervisors to lure two members of Malcolm X's security detail into committing crimes that resulted in their arrest, just days before the assassination at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem.
The arrest had kept the members from managing door security, he said.
Reggie Wood brought with him a letter that he says was composed by Raymond in 2011, written as a "deathbed" confession when Raymond thought he might die of cancer. While Raymond Wood continued to live another ten years, he requested his confession only be made public after his death.
Reggie Wood spoke to reporters at the site of the former ballroom, which was later turned into a memorial and is now a cultural center. Crump, the attorney, said he would submit the confession to law enforcement agencies including the Manhattan District Attorney's office.
A spokesman for Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance's office told Reuters that its "review of this matter is active and ongoing."
In February 2020 the office said it would review the convictions of two Nation of Islam members who were held responsible for the killing.
- This is about restorative justice to try to have those Black leaders, those civil rights activists who were wrongfully convicted over 50 years ago, to have them exonerated.
REGGIE WOOD: After Ray's passing, I found a confession letter that Ray had written and mailed to my father back in 2011. This letter details his, the FBI, and the NYPD's involvement in the assassination of Malcolm X, and how he was forced to betray his people.
This letter helps me to understand the pain and guilt that Ray felt for the last 55 years. He conspired to help the NYPD assassinate Malcolm X. On behalf of Ray, he wanted the world to know that he is deeply sorry. I hope that this information helps the Shabazz family-- [SNIFFLES] excuse me-- to more clearly understand what happened to their father on that horrible day.
As a Black man, I am disgusted to know that what happened 60 years ago is still going on today. We are living under J. Edgar Hoover's Jim Crow system of policing our Black and brown people. He is the architect of these constant injustices and tactics against our people.
I am now going to give a copy of this letter to the Shabazz family. I intend to give a copy of this letter to Khalil Sayed's family, Walter [? Beau's ?] family, Thomas Johnson's family, Herb [? Colander's ?] family, and Afeni Shakur's family. These are the families of the individuals that I'm aware of who have been falsely convicted due to Ray's actions.