Malcolm X’s Daughter, Malikah, Jailed in North Carolina for Grand Larceny and Forgery
And jail is where Malikah Shabazz is going to stay for now until she is extradited, but what a comedown.
The arrest warrant was from Queens, New York. Apparently, Malikah Shabazz, one of twin daughters born to Betty Shabazz months after the assassination of her husband, El Hajj Malik El Shabazz (Malcolm X), may have relocated to Madison County, North Carolina to avoid arrest for her alleged misdeeds. Eventually the authorities, acting on a report that her thirteen-year-old daughter was not attending school, came to her residence. In reality, the child was being home-schooled. However, as cops do, they checked Malikah’s identification, found out that she had outstanding warrants for fraud, and Malikah was arrested. If convicted, Malikah Shabazz could face seven years in jail.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown on Tuesday slammed a daughter of Malcolm X for ripping off the identity of a longtime family friend and racking up over $55,000 in fake credit card charges.
Malikah Shabazz, 45, was busted Friday in North Carolina on grand larceny and identity theft felony charges and faces up to seven years in prison, according to Brown.
“The defendant is accused of stealing not only a substantial amount of money from a once-close family friend but her personal identity, as well,” Brown said. “The alleged theft represents a shameful betrayal of the friendship that existed between the two families.”
Shabazz allegedly lifted the identity of Khaula Bakr, the widow of one of her late father’s bodyguards, and racked up fraudulent charges between August 2006 and November 2007.
The alleged scheme unraveled when Bakr, 70, got a letter from Wells Fargo Bank that she owed $28,789.38 on a credit card account she never opened.
Bakr discovered two more credit cards had been opened in her name, running up charges of $8,382.84 and $18,712.06. The accounts listed Shabazz’s Columbia, S.C., address, authorities say.
Tuesday Shabazz was denied bail during a hearing in North Carolina, where she’s awaiting extradition to New York.
“It’s distressing on the 46th anniversary of her father’s assassination to be coming in the courtroom in shackles,” her lawyer, Sean Devereux, said. Malcolm X was gunned down Feb. 21, 1965.
It’s distressing to hear that yet another Shabazz daughter may have run afoul of the law. First it was Qubilah, now 51, who was arrested in conjunction with a plot to assassinate Louis Farrakhan in 1995. Betty Shabazz had always felt that Farrakhan had contributed more or less to Malcolm X’s death; Qubilah obsessed that Farrakhan would eventually kill her mother. She later contacted a school friend, Michael Fitzpatrick, who unbeknownst to her was actually an FBI informant, and asked him to kill Farrakhan. Picked up earlier on drug charges, Fitzpatrick blabbed to the FBI to get the charges lessened or dropped. He cultivated his relationship with Qubilah and her son to the point wher she believed that he was in love with her. Her son Malcolm considered him his “dad.” Long story short, Qubilah Shabazz was later indicted for using telephones and crossing state lines in order to kill Louis Farrakhan. Qubilah evaded conviction, which could have resulted in a 90-year prison sentence and $2 million dollars in fines, by accepting a plea agreement that would result in her receiving psychological counseling and treatment for drug and alcohol abuse for two years.
Unfortunately, Qubilah’s woes also set in motion the unhappy events that resulted in the death of her mother, Betty Shabazz, at 61. Because it was Qubilah’s son, Malcolm, then 10 years old, who was sent to live with his grandmother while his mother moved to San Antonio, Texas for treatment. Today, after several more run-ins with the law, Malcolm Shabazz is said to be writing his memoirs.
Recently, the six surviving daughters of Malcolm and Betty have been arguing among themselves about the disposition of their famous parents’ documents and keepsakes. Sure enough, it was Malikah who was accusing two of her sisters, Ilyasah and Malaak, her twin, earlier this month attempting to gyp her. The dispute has all has the hallmarks of the Martin Luther King siblings’ fights in and out of court in Georgia. In other words, it’s like dogs fighting over the remains.
In the history in New York, it will be recorded as one of our greatest tragedies.
What happened to Malcolm X and his loved ones is a horrible story. Decade after decade, this family has been afflicted with one awful episode after another. And the tragedy has not ended. Even today a quarrel among his heirs, his daughters, has erupted and, although Malcolm died 46 years ago, his presence in New York is still deeply felt.
The latest chapter is unfolding in Surrogate’s Court in Westchester, where three of Malcolm X’s six daughters are feuding over his legacy, according to The New York Times. Actually the lawsuit is over the estate of their mother, Malcolm X’s widow, Betty Shabazz.
One of the daughters, Malikah Shabazz, accuses her two sisters, Ilyasah and Malaak Shabazz, and their former lawyer, the Times says, “of spending estate money on themselves while permitting property and other estate assets to languish and a tax bill to skyrocket.”
There have been charges of irresponsibility, mental incapacity and fiscal mismanagement of an estate estimated at about $1.4 million, according to the Times. Also in the legacy are unpublished works by Malcolm X and Dr. Shabazz. Their value is unknown.
I read a while back that an address book of Malcolm’s had been found at Butterfield and Butterfield; it was part of the police cache of Malcolm’s effects at the time of his death that apparently had not been returned to his widow. (There may be another story about this; I am only recalling this episode from memory.) The sisters had to get up the money to retrieve the address book, hence the “irresponsibility” claim.
It could be that Malikah’s lawsuit probably brought the cops to her door in North Carolina, and it has probably rendered inactive any further motions by Malikah in the case against her sisters. I’m not accusing any one of anything, but it is mighty interesting that this kettle of fish should crop up only two weeks after the lawsuit was filed. Or maybe it just karma.
[Malikah’s counsel Sean] Devereux said the warrants appear to be from 2009 but that she was never served with the papers. Her attorneys are not sure about the circumstances of the charges. He said prosecutors in New York have known her most recent address in South Carolina, where she owned a home and had a driver’s license.
“The notion that she fled New York is really not the case,” Devereux said.
Devereux said Shabazz is not fighting extradition and is eager to go to New York and deal with the matter. She’s mostly concerned about her 13-year-old daughter, who was in the custody of the local Department of Social Services, Devereux said.
Shabazz is being held at a jail in neighboring Haywood County because Madison County does not have facilities to hold women.
I hope that Malikah can explain herself, but it doesn’t appear that this mess is going to resolve itself just on GP. It’s easy to wish that Malcolm and Betty hadn’t died, but I think something like this was bound to occur even if they had lived.