It was a return to the scene of the crime, Omaha, Nebraska. Weeds choked the vacant lot at 2867 Ohio Street where nearly a half-century ago Patrolman Larry Minard was killed by an ambush bomb at a vacant house. The occasion was a book tour for FRAMED: J. Edgar Hoover, COINTELPRO & the Omaha Two story, my non-fiction account of the crime and subsequent prosecution of two Black Panther leaders.
There were four venues on the schedule, two book stores, a community forum, and the Great Plains Black History Museum. Also included were stops at the governor’s office in Lincoln and the Douglas County Attorney’s office in Omaha. Books were donated to schools and libraries. Interesting people came forward at each event enriching the bittersweet experience with their personal accounts. FRAMED is a story with no happy ending, only continuing injustice.
While visiting the Aframerican Bookstore, 3226 Lake Street, there was a goose-bump surprise, the prison book collection of Mondo. Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa, former David Rice, was an intellectual, but I already knew that. However, not until Mondo’s books were in my hands complete with occasional notes, did I realize the depth of his thinking and scope of his reach. It was a final visit, a last good-bye, as I paged through the collection wanting to talk with the absent owner about his books.
After Mondo’s death in March 2016, at the maximum-security Nebraska Correctional Center, the family placed the books on display to the public at the Aframerican Bookstore community room. Mondo served a life without parole sentence for the murder of Minard and died proclaiming his innocence. Mondo and Edward Poindexter had been targeted by the illegal and clandestine COINTELPRO program of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for elimination because of their roles leading the National Committee to Combat Fascism.
The book tour was to include a prison interview with Poindexter to discuss his health and appeal status. Now, almost forty-nine years behind bars, Poindexter was denied a media interview and my planned visit was banned by the director of the Department of Corrections.
The FRAMED book tour was in reality a call for justice. By putting the story of a well-orchestrated frame-up together in one place, all documented with citations to primary sources, it is now possible for me to call for a reopening of the Minard murder investigation. I believe an innocent man, Ed Poindexter, is in prison while Minard’s killers walk free.
Up next will be a public request to Governor Pete Ricketts to open a commutation investigation.
FRAMED: J. Edgar Hoover, COINTELPRO & the Omaha Two story, in print edition at Amazon and in ebook. Portions of the book may be read free online at NorthOmahaHistory.com. The book is also available to patrons of the Omaha Public Library.