MEXICO CITY – Two waiters at a downtown Mexico City bar have been arrested and identified by prosecutors here as the “likely killers” of Malcolm Shabazz. The grandson of slain civil rights leader Malcolm X, Shabazz was beaten to death last week.
According to a news release issued Monday by the Mexico City attorney general’s office, the waiters, David Hernandez Cruz and Manuel Alejandro Perez de Jesus, worked at a bar called the Palace Club, where Shabazz and a friend had been drinking.
Prosecutors described the Palace Club as “a bar not frequented by tourists,” located near the Plaza Garibaldi, the famous square where visitors and Mexicans alike are serenaded by bands of roving mariachi musicians.
At 3 a.m. Thursday, the statement said, the waiters and two other individuals at the Palace Club demanded that the two visitors pay a $1,200 bar tab.
When they disputed the charge, Shabazz was beaten, and his friend, a labor leader named Miguel Suarez, was threatened and robbed.
Prosecutors said Shabazz, 28, died of trauma caused by the beating he received with a blunt object. The two waiters were jailed on suspicion of murder and aggravated robbery.
Shabazz was the son of Malcolm X’s second daughter, Qubilah. He spent four years at a juvenile detention center after pleading guilty, at age 12, to starting a house fire that killed Betty Shabazz, Malcolm X’s wife. He had other run-ins with the law, but had been working more recently as a public speaker, blogger and activist.