[Ppnews] Omaha Two story: (Part 6) June 24, 1969 Killing of Vivian Strong

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Mar 17 17:07:35 EDT 2011


The June 24, 1969 shooting of 14 year-old Vivian Strong touched off a 
riot, the Black Panthers protected a riot sanctuary while J. Edgar 
Hoover ordered Omaha FBI to take a "new approach" against the 
Panthers under COINTELPRO, see link for details:


Omaha police officer kills 14 year-old Vivian Strong triggering race riot

    * By <http://www.examiner.com/user-richardsonreports>Michael 
Richardson, COINTELPRO Examiner
    * March 17th, 2011 1:57 pm ET
Omaha Two story: June 24, 1969

Racial turmoil across the United States led to conflicts throughout 
the nation between police and black activists.  The growing tension 
and disturbances fueled a rapid growth of the Black Panther Party in 
many cities and alarmed police officials nationwide, including 
Edgar Hoover, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Hoover commanded a vast, clandestine counter-intelligence operation 
directed at the Black Panthers and numerous other groups and 
individuals.  Some of the COINTELPRO tactics Hoover ordered were 
designed to trigger internecine violence within black groups.

In Omaha, Nebraska, a March 1968 riot following the beating of 
protestors at a George Wallace rally still had the city on edge.  A 
January 1969 campus protest at Omaha University led to a takeover of 
college president Kirk Naylor's office by 54 members of a black 
student group.  Led by a recently discharged Army captain, Robert 
"Jericho" Honore, the protest angered many white citizens in Omaha.

Police patrolled Omaha's Near North Side for any signs of trouble and 
made frequent traffic stops on North 24th Street which served as the 
main street for Omaha's black community.  Tensions grew as the police 
patrol activity sought to maintain order in the city.

On June 24, 1968, 14 year-old Vivian Strong was shot to death.  The 
headline in the Omaha World-Herald the next day was, "Negro Girl 
Killed By a Police Bullet At Housing Project."

Vivian was shot on a Tuesday evening at the Logan Fontenelle housing 
project where she lived.  The young teenager was shot in the head . a 
few doors down from her home by Omaha patrolman James Loder.  The 
police had received a call about a break-in at a nearby building and 
were arresting a suspect when Vivian and her friends, who had been 
playing records in an alley, went to see what was going on.

Nineteen year-old Linda Bradley, a next-door neighbor, was keeping an 
eye on Vivian for her mother,  Linda told the Omaha World-Herald what 
happened next:  "Then we started to run .  We were just running to 
see what the cops would do.  Then that [Explicative] shot her, right 
in the head.  He didn't hollar or shot in the air or anything.  There 
was only one shot."

A crowd immediately gathered and by midnight a bottles were being 
thrown at police cars on North 24th Street  Vandalism and a 
firebombing of a business occurred in the early morning hours;

The next night an entire ten-block area on North 24th Street had 
rioting.  Police escorts for firefighters combating the flames were 
used.  Twenty-one people were treated at Omaha hospitals after being 
assaulted.  Twelve persons were arrested in the rioting which 
continued through Thursday night.

Omaha's Black Panther chapter stationed armed guards outside the 
office of Greater Omaha Community Action which stayed open as a 
sanctuary for residents from the violence as groups of youth swarmed 
through the area throwing bottles at police and expressing their 
outrage at Vivian's death.

Poindexter was one of the Black Panthers protecting the GOCA 
office.  Ed had recently moved back to Omaha after being discharged 
in December 1968 from six  years in the U.S. Army.  Ed worked for the 
Post Office and his picture in the newspaper outside the building 
would soon lead to the end of his job at the Post Office.

One of the GOCA community workers was 
we Langa, then David Rice, who had joined the anti-poverty agency in 
March.  Mondo had been maced by an Omaha police officer at the George 
Wallace rally in March 1968 that had triggered another riot after 
demonstrators were beaten with metal chairs by Wallace supporters.

On Friday more rioting injured twelve more people.  Looting and 
vandalmism continued sporadically throughout the early morning 
hours.  Nebraska Governor Norbert Tiemann sought a riot control bill 
from the legislature.

Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C. at the headquarters of the Federal 
Bureau of Investigation, director J. Edgar Hoover was 
unhappy.  Hoover personally monitored racial disturbances by 
reviewing daily reports from field offices.  Hoover also directed and 
closely watched over a clandestine counter-intelligence operation, 
code-named COINTELPRO, against the Black Panthers and other groups.

Hoover had previously ordered Paul Young, the Omaha Special 
Agent-in-Charge, to get the Black Panthers off the streets.  On June 
27, 1969, Hoover sent a corrective COINTELPRO memo to Omaha.

Hoover wrote, "It is apparent that the counterintelligence program of 
the Omaha Office has not been effective and needs a new approach."

Paul Young would finally be able to satisfy Hoover's demands the 
following year when Omaha patrolman 
Minard, Sr. was killed with an ambush bomb.  Young would propose, and 
Hoover agree, with a plan to withhold evidence of Minard's killer to 
enable prosecutors to charge Black Panther leaders with the bombing.

Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa, now known as the Omaha Two, are 
serving life sentences in the Nebraska State Penitentiary for 
Minard's murder.  Both men deny any role in the crime.

To view all of the Omaha Two story articles click 

Permission granted to reprint

Continue reading on Examiner.com: 
police officer kills 14 year-old Vivian Strong triggering race riot - 
National Cointelpro | Examiner.com 

Michael Richardson

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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