The Justice Department has declined a request to reinvestigate the Malcolm X assassination, saying that the statute of
By SHAILA DEWAN
limitations has expired on any federal laws that might apply, like the National Firearms Act of 1934, according to a statement released Saturday.
Historians have long viewed the assassination as unsolved, as The Times reported Saturday. Several experts have argued that the Justice Department could take up the case under the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act of 2007, but the department, without elaborating, said the crime did not fit the parameters of that act.
Alvin Sykes, an advocate for justice in civil rights-era cold cases, has suggested that the department has the discretion to investigate even if no prosecution is possible, an authority that has been used in the past to examine the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But Malcolm X, the department said, does not rate similar treatment.
“Although the Justice Department recognizes that the murder of Malcolm X was a tragedy, both for his family and for the community he served, we have determined that at this time, the matter does not implicate federal interests sufficient to necessitate the use of scarce federal investigative resources into a matter for which there can be no federal criminal prosecution,” the department said.
Mr. Sykes said he planned to appeal to President Obama, Congress and local law enforcement agencies to pursue the case.