[Pnews] FBI sought electric chair execution of Black Panther leaders in Omaha

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Sep 13 17:38:00 EDT 2018


  FBI sought electric chair execution of Black Panther leaders in Omaha

Michael Richardson - September 13, 2018

On December 4, 1969, in a Federal Bureau of Investigation orchestrated 
pre-dawn raid in Chicago, Black Panther leaders Fred Hampton and Mark 
Clark were shot to death. Fourteen handpicked policemen, armed with 
twenty-seven firearms including a Thompson submachine and shotguns, 
converged on Hampton’s apartment at 4:45 a.m. Police fired a barrage 
into the quiet apartment killing the two Panther leaders and wounding 
all of the other occupants.

Attorney Paul Wolf has commented on a December 8, 1969 raid in Los 
Angeles. “Four days after a similar raid on a Panther apartment in 
Chicago, forty men of the Special Weapons and Tactics squad, with more 
than a hundred regular police as backup, raided the Los Angeles Panther 
headquarters at 5:30 in the morning. The Panthers chose to defend 
themselves, and for four hours they fought off police, refusing to 
surrender until press and public were on the scene. Six of them were 
wounded. Thirteen were arrested. Miraculously, none of them were killed.”

“The similarities between the Chicago and Los Angeles raids are 
undeniable, with a special local police unit closely linked to the FBI 
involved in both assaults, spurious warrants seeking “illegal weapons” 
utilized on both occasions, predawn timing of both raids to catch the 
Panthers asleep and a reliance on overwhelming police firepower to the 
exclusion of all other methods. Both raids occurred in the context of an 
ongoing and highly energetic anti-BPP COINTELPRO, and—as in the Hampton 
assassination—bullets were fired directly into Pratt’s bed. Unlike the 
Chicago leader, however, Pratt was sleeping on the floor, the result of 
spinal injuries sustained in Vietnam.”

On December 10, 1969, two days after the raid in Los Angeles, FBI 
Director J. Edgar Hoover was unhappy with a lack of action in Omaha. 
Hoover sent a stern memorandum to Paul Young. “While the activities 
appear to be limited in the Omaha area, it does not necessarily follow 
that effective counterintelligence measures cannot be taken. As long as 
there are BPP activities, you should be giving consideration to that 
type of counterintelligence measure which would best disrupt existing 
activities. It would appear some type of counterintelligence aimed at 
disruption of the publication and distribution of their literature is in 
order. It is also assumed that of the eight to twelve members, one or 
two must surely 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 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 to the Bureau for 

Young, mindful of the deadly raid in Chicago a week earlier, selected 
two Omaha leaders, Edward Poindexter and David Rice (later Wopashitwe 
Mondo Eyen we Langa) for COINTELPRO misdeeds. Young planned an ambush in 
Carter Lake, Iowa after being tipped by United Airlines personnel about 
a shipment of/Black Panther/newspapers arriving at Eppley Airport in 
Omaha. Details were never finalized as Young’s agents were unable to 
obtain the sought cargo information.

Young was able to satisfy Hoover’s blood lust for lethal outcomes with a 
plan to blame the two Panthers. Instead of gunplay to kill, Young’s 
counterintelligence plan would use Nebraska’s electric chair to execute 
the men. The Omaha Two faced death sentences at their controversial 1971 
trial for the August 17, 1970 murder 
of Patrolman Larry Minard.

The electric chair was last previously used in 1959 to execute serial 
killer Charles Starkweather. It was used three times since the Minard 
murder trial in 1971. Nebraska abolished the death penalty in 2014 and 
then restored it in 2016. Nebraska executed its first prisoner by lethal 
injection in August 2018.

Omaha police sent the most critical piece of evidence, a 911 recording 
of a killer’s voice, to the FBI Laboratory for analysis to identify the 
anonymous caller who lured police to a bomb-rigged vacant house. 
However, the search for Minard’s killers was not a search for truth. 
Hoover ordered results of the laboratory testing squelched with no 
written report. The jury never heard the voice on the 911 recording, a 
voice that did not fit with the FBI-orchestrated prosecution scenario.

Although it took three days of deliberation to reach a verdict, the jury 
convicted Poindexter and Rice; however, the jury spared their lives and 
ruled out execution. Rice, who became Mondo in prison, died at the 
Nebraska State Penitentiary in March 2016. Poindexter remains imprisoned 
at the maximum-security prison where he continues to proclaim his innocence.

/This article contains excerpts from /FRAMED: J. Edgar Hoover, 
COINTELPRO & the Omaha Two story 
/by Michael Richardson,/ /available in print at Amazon 
and in ebook at Kindle 
Permission granted to reprint./

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