Malcolm Shabazz : biography
Malcolm Latif Shabazz (October 8, 1984 – May 9, 2013) was the son of Qubilah Shabazz, the second daughter of Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz. He was the first male descendant of Malcolm X. In 1997, when he was 12 years old, Shabazz set fire to the apartment of his grandmother, Betty Shabazz, causing her death.
Malcolm Shabazz was born in Paris on October 8, 1984. His father, L. A. Bouasba, was an Algerian Muslim whom Qubilah Shabazz met there. According to Malcolm, he never met his father. Other sources say Malcolm knew his father, but they had little contact with one another.
When Malcolm was a few months old, he and his mother moved to Los Angeles. A little while later, they moved to New York City and then Philadelphia. One landlord there remembered frequently having to let young Malcolm into the apartment because his mother was not at home. Malcolm showed some evidence of disturbance as a child. As a three-year-old, he reportedly set fire to his shoes. He brought a knife to school in the third grade. About the same time, he suffered from delusions and was hospitalized for a short time.Rickford, p. 525.
During the early 1990s, Malcolm often stayed with his grandmother, Betty, and his aunts in New York, while his mother, Qubilah, lived with various friends.Rickford, p. 498. In 1994, Malcolm moved with his mother to Minneapolis. She was being drawn into a plot to assassinate Louis Farrakhan by an FBI informant, Michael Fitzpatrick. Malcolm saw in Fitzpatrick the father figure he had never known, calling him "my dad". In January 1995, Qubilah was charged with trying to hire an assassin to kill Farrakhan. She accepted a plea agreement with respect to the charges, in which she maintained her innocence but accepted responsibility for her actions. Under the terms of the agreement, she was required to undergo psychological counseling and treatment for drug and alcohol abuse for a two-year period in order to avoid a prison sentence. For the duration of her treatment, Malcolm, then ten years old, was sent to live with Betty at her apartment in Yonkers, New York.
Malcolm visited Qubilah in December 1996 in San Antonio, where she was undergoing treatment. She had married, and Malcolm quickly bonded with his stepfather. But the marriage soon ended, and Malcolm and his mother began to fight, sometimes physically. On February 26, she called the police and said she wanted him committed to a mental hospital. After a brief stay, Malcolm was released. In April, he called the police and reported that they had been in a fight. His mother said she was going to place him in foster care. On April 26, Malcolm was sent back to New York to live with his grandmother.Rickford, pp. 527, 532–534.
Following his release, Shabazz lived for a time with his aunt, Ilyasah Shabazz. He was arrested in 2002 for stealing $100. He pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and was sentenced to three and a half years in prison. Shabazz was arrested again in 2006, for punching a hole in a store's glass window.
In 2010, Shabazz made the Hajj to Mecca.
In February 2013, Iranian state-controlled Press TV reported that Shabazz had been arrested by the FBI while en route to Iran. The story was widely reported, but, two days later, Shabazz's family announced that the Press TV report was incorrect. They said Shabazz had been arrested, but his arrest had nothing to do with the FBI or Iran.
Shabazz died in Mexico City on May 9, 2013 at the age of 28. He was said to be on a tour to demand more rights for Mexican construction workers relocated to the USA. His body, which according to prosecutors had been badly beaten with a rod of some kind, was found in the street in Plaza Garibaldi, a busy tourist spot. According to New York magazine, a friend who was with Shabazz the night of his death said the beating was related to a dispute over a $1,200 bar tab for drinks and female companionship. On May 13, two waiters from a nightclub called The Palace were arrested in connection with Shabazz's death and remanded in custody. On May 18, a judge issued an order for the imprisonment of the two waiters, David Hernandez Cruz and Manuel Alejandro Perez de Jesus, who worked at the Palace bar. They are accused of theft and homicide.
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