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Framed by the FBI: A dozen reasons the 'Omaha Two' deserve a new trial (5 of 6)

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Mondo we Langa

 

On August 17, 1970, an Omaha, Nebraska police officer, Larry Minard, was murdered in an ambush bombing at a vacant house.  Two men, Edward Poindexter and Mondo we Langa (formerly David Rice), are serving life sentences at the Nebraska State Penitentiary for his killing.  The pair were leaders of Omaha's chapter of the Black Panther Party.  Most people assume justice was done in the case and little effort has been made by the news media to dig into the hidden aspects of the crime.

        

       

Poindexter has a new trial request pending before the Nebraska Supreme Court and an examination of the record, much of it still hidden by Federal Bureau of Investigation censors, reveals a dozen reasons to question the outcome of the trial.

 

New Trial Reason Nine:  Operation COINTELPRO's falsified documents and secret directives 

J. Edgar Hoover, the powerful director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, had secretly established a massive, nationwide clandestine operation code-named COINTELPRO to conduct "disruption" activity against the Black Panthers and thousands of other organizations and individuals.  Hoover wanted to destroy the Black Panthers and went after them with lethal ferocity. 

The Omaha FBI office drew fire from Hoover on December 10, 1969, for a lack of action against the local Panther chapter.  Hoover ordered in a COINTELPRO memo, "As long as there are BPP [Black Panther Party] activities, you should be giving consideration to that type of counterintelligence measure which would best disrupt existing activities."

 

Hoover wanted secret dirty tricks directed at the leaders of the Panthers.  "It is assumed that of the eight to twelve members, one or two must certainly be in a position of leadership.  You should give consideration to counterintelligence measures directed against these leaders in an effort to weaken or destroy their positions.  Bureau has noted that you have not submitted any concrete counterintelligence proposals in recent months.  Evaluate your approach to this program and insure that it is given the imaginative attention necessary to produce effective results.  Handle promptly and submit your proposals for approval."

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Michael Richardson is a freelance writer based in Boston. Richardson writes about politics, law, nutrition, ethics, and music. Richardson is also a political consultant.

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