Prison Interview with Ed Poindexter

EdFrom The Examiner:

Ed Poindexter is serving a life sentence at the Nebraska State Penitentiary for the 1970 murder of an Omaha policeman.  Poindexter’s co-defendant, Mondo we Langa (formerly David Rice) has also been imprisoned 40 years.  Both men were leaders of the Black Panthers in Omaha and targets of the clandestine Operation COINTELPRO and deny any involvement in the killing.

Federal Bureau of Investigation director J. Edgar Hoover conducted a massive, illegal and secret war on domestic political activists codenamed COINTELPRO that targeted thousands of groups and individuals around the nation for years.  Hoover went after the Black Panthers with lethal ferocity.

Hoover had been pressuring the Omaha FBI office to get the Panther leadership off the streets for nearly a year before the August 1970 bombing death of Larry Minard.  Poindexter had been targeted for harassment and had been the victim of a slanderous anonymous phone call campaign by FBI agents, the target of anonymous letters, and constant surveillance before the death of Minard gave Hoover his chance to pin the crime on the two Panthers.

Hoover ordered the withholding of evidence, a FBI crime lab report on the identity of the 911 caller that lured Minard to his death, and the jury that convicted Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa never got to hear the voice of the killer nor did they know anything about the COINTELRO crimes committed by the FBI agents.

Ed Poindexter tells what it was like as a COINTELPRO target.

“Part of the COINTELPRO project was to harass party members around the clock, seven days a week.  Never let up, try to break us or cause us to snap or drop out under the pressure, or start shooting at them to give them a reason to shoot at us.  But they didn’t need a reason because there were forty-some members killed nationwide.”

“At no time not a single day went by that the police didn’t threaten to kill us.  I can remember always keeping in the back of my mind be careful about what you eat, what you drink, who prepares it.  Fred Hampton was drugged.  Where I spent the nights to lay my head and sleep, I would be careful not to be at the same place every night, to be so predictable that they could pull that same stunt on me.”

“What I did was establish myself about a half-dozen crash pads and every night I would sleep at a different place and every week I would alter them around so they couldn’t establish a pattern.”

“One of the hottest and muggy Augusts I can recall was in 1969.  I’d left headquarters on 24th Street but decided to vary my usual route to my mother’s house.  Since it was unusually quiet that evening in terms of police harassment, I decided to walk north on 24th Street instead of cutting through alley ways as usual.  As I got two blocks away from headquarters a cop car cruised by and looked at me with surprise.  I instantly knew there was going to be some stuff, pity the soul caught alone on a side street with no witnesses.  What was going to happen was they would shoot me or beat me senseless.”

“About half way up the street I looked back to see the patrol car screech around the corner in pursuit of me.  I ducked between two houses and cut through an alley.  This left me about a half-block from home.  Out of immediate sight, I heard the patrol car halt, the door open and slam shut, and the familiar but frightening sound of a riot pump shotgun lock and load.”

“I waited for the cops to pass.  Moments later the patrol car cruised slowly past the house with its search light passing over the hedges and house.  That was the longest ten seconds of my entire life.”

Permission granted to reprint

Write:  Ed Poindexter, #27-767, P.O. Box 2500, Lincoln, NE  68542

COINTELPRO and the Omaha 2


An interview with Michael Richardson

By Angola 3 News

In 2007, veteran journalist Michael Richardson began writing a series of articles for about Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa, who are two Black Panther political prisoners known as the Omaha Two. Richardson argues that they were framed for the 1970 murder of a policeman as part of the FBI’s notorious counterintelligence program, dubbed “COINTELPRO.” This top-secret and illegal operation was a dirty war on the entire US Left, including the civil rights & Black liberation movements.

Illustrating this program’s intent, a March 3, 1968 COINTELPRO memo discussed the need to stop “the beginning of a true black revolution,” and to “prevent the rise of a ‘messiah’ who could unify, and electrify, the militant black nationalist movement… Through counterintelligence it should be possible to pinpoint potential troublemakers and neutralize them.” Another stated goal was “to prevent the long-range growth of militant black nationalist organizations, especially among youth. Specific tactics to prevent these groups from converting young people must be developed.” One specific tactical approach was expressed in an April 3, 1968 communiquĂ© arguing that “The Negro youth and moderates must be made to understand that if they succumb to revolutionary teaching, they will be dead revolutionaries.”
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Mondo we Langa appeals 1971 COINTELPRO case to Eighth Circuit over new evidence

MondoMondo we Langa (formerly David Rice) has filed an application with the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit seeking permission for a hearing in U.S. District Court on new evidence. Mondo, a former leader of the Omaha, Nebraska chapter of the Black Panthers called the National Committee to Combat Fascism, is serving a life sentence for the August 17, 1970 bombing murder of an Omaha policeman.

Mondo we Langa’s case is at the confluence of judicial activism by Chief Justice Warren Burger and COINTELPRO abuses by J. Edgar Hoover, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Burger decided to use Mondo’s case to roll back the “Warren Court” era and deprive prisoners of habeas corpus protection in federal courts when state courts are available. Hoover had targeted Mondo for counterintelligence actions and personally approved the withholding of a FBI crime lab report on the 911 call that lured policeman Larry Minard to his death to make a case against Mondo.

Mondo was implicated in the murder by the confessed 15 year-old killer, Duane Peak who also claims to have made the 911 call, and by dynamite supposedly found in Mondo’s basement. Steadfastly denying any involvement in the crime, Mondo remains imprisoned four decades later.
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Falsely Imprisoned Black Panther Ed Poindexter Appeals His Sentence

Edward Poindexter, the former head of the Omaha, Nebraska chapter of the Black Panthers, has filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in the U.S. District Court of Nebraska. Poindexter’s petition seeks an order reversing his “illegal conviction and sentence” for the 1970 murder of an Omaha policeman.

Poindexter and his co-defendant Mondo we Langa (formerly David Rice) were convicted following a controversial trial tainted by COINTELPRO tactics. Operation COINTELPRO, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s illegal war on American political activists, was unknown to the public at the time of Minard’s death and was officially terminated shortly after Poindexter’s 1971 trial.

The appeal is mainly around the fact that a 911 tape recording the bomber’s voice was kept secret from the public. This was an order given by FBI Direct J. Edgar Hoover.  A copy of the tape (the original was destroyed) surfaced years later and the voice on there contradicts testimony given by Duane Peak, who claimed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa carried out the bombing.

Read the rest of the article here.

Also check out Denver ABC’s profile of Ed Poindexter here as well as his codefendant in the “Nebraska 2” case Mondo we Langa here.