Several dozen demonstrators spread a 80 foot banner across the entrance to the Nebraska State Capitol on Tuesday in behalf of the Omaha Two. Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa (formerly David Rice) are serving life sentences at the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln for the 1970 murder of an Omaha policeman.
The Omaha Two were convicted after a COINTELPRO-tainted trial where Federal Bureau of Investigation Director J. Edgar Hoover had ordered evidence withheld from the jury. Poindexter and Mondo were leaders of Omaha’s Black Panther affiliate chapter and targets of Hoover’s clandestine war of counterintelligence against domestic political activists.
Serving 41 years in prison, the Omaha Two are among America’s longest-held political prisoners.
The capitol steps demonstration was organized by Ben Jones of the Anti-Oppression Art project. Jones used Facebook to help recruit people to help hold the giant banner.
Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa continue to maintain their innocence for the murder of Larry MInard, Sr. on August 17, 1970. Minard and seven other Omaha police officers were lured to a vacant house by an anonymous 911 call about a woman screaming. Instead of a woman, police found a booby-trapped suitcase filled with dynamite which exploded in Minard’s face as examined it.
J. Edgar Hoover ordered the FBI crime laboratory to withhold a report on its analysis of a recording of the 911 call. Omaha police had sent the tape to Washington to determine the identity of the anonymous caller. The unknown caller presented a problem in making a case against the two Black Panther leaders.
For a year prior to the bombing, Paul Young, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the Omaha FBI office had been under pressure from Hoover to eliminate the Black Panther leadership. After the Omaha Two trial in April 1971, where the jury never got to hear the voice of Minard’s killer on the 911 tape, Young was rewarded for his role in the case with a transfer to head the Kansas City FBI office.
Ivan Willard Conrad, the FBI laboratory director, talked with Hoover about the unusual request to withhold information since it involved the death of a policeman. Hoover told Conrad to withhold a report on the identity of the caller which Conrad noted on the COINTELPRO memo about the tape. Hoover never publicly acknowledged his role in the frame-up.
The Omaha Two are on the agenda Saturday at the Left Forum at Pace University in New York. The title of the panel discussion is Remembering Our Comrades and is one of the opening sessions.
For further information on the Omaha Two click HERE
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