There are many unanswered questions about the violent death of Malcolm Shabazz, the 28-year-old grandson of legendary freedom fighter Malcolm X.
U.S. authorities should be involved in any investigation into the death. The Shabazz family should also hire private investigators to work alongside official investigators; supporters of the family must extend any assistance the family may need.
The most authoritative account so far comes from Miguel Suarez, who’s been described as a person who organized Mexican workers in the United States and was expelled from the U.S. in April.
Suarez reportedly told the Associated Press that he was with Malcolm Shabazz when he was killed. Malcolm Shabazz had traveled through San Diego to Mexico, and then traveled to Mexico City by road, accompanied by Suarez’s mother, according to the account.
He was to help the Mexican by lending his well-known family name to publicize Suarez’s deportation.
More information is needed. How exactly was Malcolm Shabazz to help Suarez? How did Malcolm know Suarez and for how long? Who organized the trip? What has Suarez’s mother said so far?
It’s important for as much information to come out, given the legacy of the Malcolm Shabazz family: being in the public eye for such a long time and not unfamiliar with violent ends including to his famous grandfather.
Suarez told the The Associated Press (AP) that he and Malcolm Shabazz went to a bar at Plaza Garibaldi on Wednesday, where the attack occurred hours later, and Malcolm died on Thursday.
According to the Associated Press, although the Plaza Garibaldi, where the two went, is popular with tourists “the pair were at a bar across the street from the plaza in an area of rough dive bars tourists are warned against going to.”
“We were dancing with the girls and drinking,” in the bar, Suarez, told the AP, and added that the owner of the bar wanted them to pay a $1,200 bar tab, for music, drinks and the girls’ companionship.
“We pretty much got hassled,” the AP quotes Suarez as saying. At this point the story gets very murky.
Suarez told The Associated Press that a “short dude came with a gun” and took him to a separate room.
“Suarez said he heard a violent commotion in the hall and escaped from the room and the bar altogether as he saw half-naked girls running away, picking up their skirts from the dance floor,” according to the AP’s account.
“Minutes later, Suarez came back in a cab to look for Shabazz and found him on the ground outside the bar severely injured.”
“He was in shock. His face was messed up,” Suarez is quoted saying by the AP. “He was alive.” He’s also quoted saying: “I grabbed him, and I called the cops.”
Malcolm Shabazz was then taken to a hospital where he died hours later of blunt-force injuries, according to Suarez’s account to the AP.
There are many unanswered questions at this point:
1. How did Suarez himself survive the gunman whom he says took him to another room?
2. Why was he taken to another room and what happened while he was there?
3. How long was Suarez in the other room with the gunman and how did he escape?
4. How long was Suarez away before he returned for Malcolm Shabazz in the cab?
5. Who else witnessed the beating of Malcolm Shabazz since, presumably, there were other patrons inside the bar and there were also people outside the bar?
6. Was this a bar that Suarez had frequented in the past and did he know the people who own or operate the bar?
7. Perhaps the most important question: Suarez says he was taken away by a gunman and that while he was in another room he “heard a commotion”; presumably this was Malcolm Shabazz being beaten.
Yet, even after he had been held at gunpoint and somehow managed to escape, instead of calling the police immediately, Suarez left and then “came back in a cab to look for Shabazz.”
It was then only after he found Shabazz with his face “messed up” that he called the police.
One would hope that someone held at gunpoint and who heard a “commotion” suggesting his companion to the bar was being harmed would call the police first.
These are the kind of questions that investigators should seek to address and Suarez may have good enough answers. But in the meantime, there are too many red flags and the sooner we get answers the better.
Also, as Black Star News columnist Patrick Delices noted in his article, Malcolm Shabazz has actually written about the possibility of being taken out — not in a purported bar fight but at the hands of U.S. agents. This is part of what Malcolm Shabazz had posted in March:
“The formula for a public assassination is: the character assassination before the physical assassination; so one has to be made killable before the eyes of the public in order for their eventual murder to then deemed justifiable. And when the time arrives for these hits to be carried out you’re not going to see a C.I.A. agent with a suit & tie, and a badge that says ‘C.I.A.’ walk up to someone, and pull the trigger. What they will do is to out-source to local police departments in the region of their target, and to employ those that look like the target of interest to infiltrate the workings in order to set up the environment for the eventual assassination (character, physical/incarceration, exile) to take place.”