Friday, September 17, 2010

Nebraskans for Justice host talk on Fred Hampton’s murder by police in Chicago

by Michael Richardson September 16th, 2010

The Nebraskans for Justice recognized the 40th anniversary of
incarceration of the Omaha Two by co-sponsoring a lecture by noted
attorney Jeffrey Haas on the police killings of Fred Hampton and Mark
Clark in Chicago.

Fred Hampton and Mark Clark were Black Panther leaders in Illinois and
killed in a pre-dawn 1969 raid on their Chicago apartment by a special
police squad. Police were directed on the raid by a Federal Bureau of
Investigation informant working under the clandestine Operation

The Omaha Two are Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa (formerly David Rice)
who were Black Panther leaders in Nebraska at the time of Hampton’s murder
and also targets of COINTELPRO. In August 1970, the two Panther leaders
were charged with the bombing murder of Omaha policeman Larry Minard and
later convicted in a COINTELPRO-rigged trial where FBI director J. Edgar
Hoover ordered a crucial FBI crime lab report withheld.

Operation COINTELPRO was a massive national program illegally targeting
American citizens with espionage-style dirty tricks for their political
activity. Hoover’s chief target were the Black Panthers who he called
America’s greatest domestic threat.

Haas, now living in New Mexico, traveled to Omaha to speak at Creighton
University about the 1969 “shoot-in” that killed Hampton and Clark. Haas
read excerpts from his new book on Hampton’s death, The Assassination of
Fred Hampton.

Haas related his jailhouse interviews with wounded survivors of the bloody
raid and discussed in detail the crime scene where Hampton was shot in his
bed. Haas elaborated on the role of the FBI and COINTELPRO on the Chicago
case and Hoover’s obsession to destroy the Black Panthers.

Calling for a new trial for Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa, Haas
explained that COINTELPRO corrupted the criminal justice system with the
intrusion of a political agenda into law enforcement.

Hoover had taken a personal interest in selected cities and Omaha was on
his list. For the year leading to the prosecution of the Omaha Two the
local FBI office was deluged by secret memos from Hoover demanding results
against the two Panther leaders.

Larry Minard’s bombing death provided COINTELPRO agents with the opening
they needed to get Poindexter and Mondo off the streets except for a
troublesome recording of the 911 call that lured Minard to his death. The
day of the bombing a decision was made to send the 911 recording to the
FBI crime laboratory where Hoover ordered no report be made. The jury
that convicted the Omaha Two never got to hear the actual voice of
Minard’s killer.

Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa are serving life sentences in the
Nebraska State Penitentiary where both men continue to deny their guilt.

Larry Minard’s killer, the 911 caller, was never properly identified and
remains at large.

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