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Malcolm X Holds Press Conference in Los Angeles

May 5, 1962 - Malcolm X, Minister of Nation of Islam Mosque No. 7 in Harlem, traveled to Los Angeles and held a news conference today concerning the clash between police and Black Muslims on April 28 that resulted in the death of Muslim Ronald T. Stokes. Mr. X accused Los Angeles Police Chief William H. Parker of Gestapo tactics and false propaganda. He charged that a squad of 75 officers shot or clubbed 16 Muslim members during the clash. The violence began, he said, when the police twisted the arm of an unarmed man. Later, he contended, the wounded were denied medical treatment for hours. Mr. X said that Muslims believe in “separation.” “Separation is the division of two equals,” he said. He said members of the Nation of Islam did not drink, smoke, or carry weapons. Mr. X said Muslims had achieved respect from the New York City police. “We want to clean up our own people,” he said. The Nation of Islam has been denounced by the NAACP and other Negro groups favoring integration. However, the Los Angeles branch of the NAACP protested “the unnecessary killing” and “brutality” of April 28 and has asked Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy to investigate.

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