[Pnews] Ed Poindexter - 3 days of deceit against the Black Panthers by FBI and Omaha police

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Oct 23 12:35:28 EDT 2018


  Three days of deceit against the Black Panthers by FBI and Omaha police

Michael Richardson
10-13Secret memorandum from the Omaha FBI office to J. Edgar Hoover 
reminding not to use a 911 recording because it might prejudice the 
police case against the Black Panthers (credit: Federal Bureau of 

October 1970 was a month of deception against local leaders of the Black 
Panthers by Omaha police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. There 
were three consecutive days of deceit by police and the FBI as a plot to 
blame leaders of the National Committee to Combat Fascism for the 
bombing murder of Omaha Patrolman Larry Minard 
went forward. Edward Poindexter 
and David Rice 
(later Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa) led the Black Panther affiliate 
group and were targets of COINTELPRO 
a clandestine FBI counterintelligence operation.

The plot to blame Poindexter and Rice began the day of the bombing, 
August 17, 1970, with a police decision to send the 911 recording of the 
anonymous voice that lured Minard to his death to the FBI Laboratory, 
but ask for no report. Deputy Police Chief Glen Gates conspired with 
Paul Young, the Special Agent in Charge of the Omaha FBI office, to keep 
lab results on the identity of the anonymous caller from being reported. 
An unknown killer upset plans to pin the murder on the two Panther leaders.

The pair were arrested and charged with Minard’s murder along with a 
teen, Duane Peak, who confessed to planting the bomb. Peak made a deal 
with police and prosecutors implicating the two leaders and escaped 
prison by being declared a juvenile delinquent. The plot to pin the 
crime on Poindexter and Rice hardened in October 1970 with false 
testimony to a Congressional subcommittee by an Omaha police captain and 
untruthful statements by FBI leadership to news reporters.

*October 12, 1970, Williamsburg, Virginia*

Assistant FBI Director William Sullivan spoke to a convention of United 
Press International editors and reporters. When asked about communist 
responsibility for racial unrest Sullivan admitted that no evidence 
existed of communist instigation of any of the riots that erupted in 
cities around the nation over the summer and instead blamed extremists.

“The vanguard of black extremism today is the Black Panther Party with 
its demonstrated proclivity for violence. The party was founded in 1966 
ostensibly as a self-defense group against police officers. It has, 
however, been constantly on the offensive in keeping with its battle cry 
of “off the pigs”—Panther jargon for “kill the police”. According to 
Panther thinking, the police are the first target in the program for 
“liberation” of the black community and the violent destruction of white 

Sullivan’s speech included a denial of counterintelligence actions 
against the Black Panthers which he supervised. Sullivan also made the 
only public FBI mention of the bombing in Omaha. Sullivan didn’t have 
all of his facts correct, he was wrong on the date and number arrested 
and did not mention the duplicity of the FBI Laboratory for which he 
initialed his approval.

“On August 12, 1970, an Omaha, Nebraska, police officer was literally 
blasted to death by an explosive device planted in a suitcase in an 
abandoned residence. The officer had been summoned by an anonymous 
telephone complaint that a woman was being beaten there. An individual 
with Panther associations had been charged with this crime.”

The FBI continues to censor its files on the case. David Rice’s FBI file 
is filled with redactions including a completely censored three-page 
memorandum prepared for Omaha police by the local FBI office. Records of 
the Inspection Division, which reviewed actions of the Omaha field 
office on the case have disappeared, with the FBI unable to explain when 
or why the records vanished.

*October 13, 1970, Omaha, Nebraska*

In Omaha, Special Agent in Charge Paul Young sent a memorandum to J. 
Edgar Hoover on the Minard murder. Young reminded Hoover that no report 
from the FBI Laboratory was wanted: “In a preliminary hearing held 
9/28/70 in Municipal Court, Omaha, PEAK testified that he had made the 
telephone call to the Omaha PD telling them that a woman was screaming 
in a house at 2867 Ohio Street. Police Officer LARRY MINARD was 
subsequently killed when a bobby trap suitcase exploded as he, with 
other officers, answered this call.”

“Assistant COP [Chief of Police] GLENN GATES, Omaha PD, advised that he 
feels that any use of tapes of this call might be prejudicial to the 
police murder trial against two accomplices of PEAK and, therefore, has 
advised that he wishes no use of this tape until after the murder trials 
of PEAK and the two accomplices has been completed.”

“UACB [Until Authorized to Contrary by Bureau], no further efforts are 
being made at this time to secure additional tape recordings of the 
original telephone call.”

Hoover had ordered no lab report was to be issued, however Assistant 
Special Agent in Charge Tom Dugan called the FBI Laboratory and canceled 
all testing, before Duane Peak was arrested, ending any inquiry into the 
identify the unknown 911 caller that lured Minard to his death. The FBI 
allowed a policeman’s killer to get away with murder and walk free in 
order to make a case against Poindexter and Rice.

*October 14, 1970, Washington, D.C.*

A House Internal Security Subcommittee hearing opened on “National 
Office Operations of the Black Panthers and activities in Des Moines, 
Iowa, and Omaha, Nebraska.”

The Omaha Police Department was scheduled. However, no FBI 
representative was on hand to testify. Captain Murdock Platner, who 
testified to a Senate subcommittee earlier in the month, returned to 
Washington to testify again. Platner read a written statement that 
elaborated on his earlier testimony.

“I will outline for you the development of the militant actions in Omaha 
that led up to the murder of a police officer. Eldridge Cleaver came to 
Omaha and spoke to about 400 people in a city park. Several Black 
Panthers from California were in Omaha at this time. One, Wilfred 
“Crutch” Holliday, stayed on in Omaha for some time. He attended Black 
Panther meetings and on one occasion, with 30 people in attendance, 
rushed out to his car and brought in a shotgun, and waving it over his 
head, shouted, “This is the way to handle the pigs; you should get 
yourself a shotgun and shoot as many as you can.”

Platner mentioned the 1969 shooting of fourteen year-old Vivian Strong 
and the spontaneous rioting that followed her death.

“The next night after the girl was killed rioting and burning started. 
Several businesses were burned out in the Negro area. This lasted for 3 
days. During the entire week militants from other cities came to Omaha. 
This was established through informants and surveillance of autos with 
out-of-State plates that were spotted in the area….Cars from California, 
Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado were in the area.”

“The militants obtained radios to monitor police calls. They had several 
people in cars with monitors, and every time a call was received by a 
police car in the Negro area a group of militants would show up and 
start interfering.”

Platner outlined the Minard murder investigation: “A 16-year-old Black 
Panther was arrested for the murder and implicated the deputy chairman, 
Edward Poindexter, and the deputy minister of information, David Rice, 
of the NCCF party, who were arrested and have been ordered to stand 
trial in district court for murder. Dynamite similar to that stolen from 
the Quick Supply in Des Moines was found in the home of one of the 
above. It is believed it is part of the supply from which the bombs were 

Platner explained Duane Peak provided the details of the bomb 
construction. Platner falsely described Peak’s testimony at the 
preliminary hearing and claimed that Peak said Rice supplied the 
suitcase and dynamite for the bomb: “I can tell you this, that one of 
the suspects in this, Duane Peak, a 16-year-old boy who was arrested, 
testified in a preliminary hearing, he testified that David Rice brought 
a suitcase filled with dynamite to his house or to somebody’s house. I 
am not for sure just which place; that they removed all the dynamite 
from the suitcase except three sticks; made the bomb, the triggering 
device, and so on, and put it together; and then packed the suitcase 
with newspapers and that he left with this suitcase.”

“Now I am a little bit hesitant to go into the rest of this because 
there is a trial yet to be held. I don’t know what I should say.”

Representative Richard Preyer thanked Platner for his testimony and 
revealed the shallowness of the subcommittee inquiry: “You have provided 
some of the most shocking and outrageous things here and yet you have 
done it in a perfectly calm manner and have not let your indignation 
carry you away and fly off the handle. Like good police officers you 
have stuck very close to the evidence and not jumped way beyond it. Most 
of the evidence you have recited here is circumstantial evidence, but as 
you know through experience in the courtroom there is nothing wrong with 
circumstantial evidence; it can be stronger than direct evidence.”

“So this circumstantial evidence here that you have received comes on 
pretty strong, the only shipment of this dynamite this year, and that 
sort of thing, it shows you certainly have prepared your case carefully 
and calmly and efficiently. So I say you are an example of the kind of 
police officer we need in this country. You are doing a good job.”

Poindexter and Rice were convicted in April 1971 after a controversial 
trial. Mondo, as Rice came to be known, died in March 2016 at the 
Nebraska State Penitentiary. Poindexter remains confined at the 
maximum-security prison where he continues to proclaim his innocence.

/This article is excerpted from the book /FRAMED: J. Edgar Hoover, 
COINTELPRO & the Omaha Two story 
/The book is available in ebook 
by Kindle or print from Amazon 
The book is available for local readers at the Omaha Public Library. 
Portions of the book are also online for free at NorthOmahaHistory.com 

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 https://freedomarchives.org/
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