Man exonerated in killing of Malcom X files claim seeking $20M in damages from New York State

NEW YORK (WABC) -- One of two men exonerated last month in the killing of Malcolm X filed a civil claim Tuesday that seeks millions of dollars in compensation from New York State.

The claim cites the toll of "living with the hardship and indignity attendant to being unjustly branded as a convicted murderer of one of the most important civil rights leaders in history."

Muhammad Aziz also filed a notice of claim against New York City that seeks legal redress for civil rights violations and other "government misconduct" that caused his wrongful conviction.

"While I do not dwell on what my life might have been like had this travesty of justice never occurred, the deep and lasting trauma it caused cannot be overstated. The more than 20 years that I spent in prison were stolen from me and my family, and while the official record now recognizes the truth that has been known for decades, nothing can undo the damage that my wrongful conviction caused to all of us," Aziz said in a statement. "Those responsible for depriving me of my liberty and for depriving my family of a husband, a father, and a grandfather should be held accountable."

During a November hearing, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said "there is only one ultimate conclusion; Mr. Aziz and Mr. Islam were wrongfully convicted of this crime" and the court dismissed the indictment.

The claim seeks at least $20 million in damages.

RELATED | 2 men convicted in Malcolm X's 1965 death exonerated
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N.J. Burkett reports on the exoneration nearly 57 years after the conviction of two men in the assassination of Malcolm X.

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