While in Omaha, Nebraska, on a book tour for FRAMED: J. Edgar Hoover, COINTELPRO & the Omaha Two story, I passed Central Headquarters of the Omaha Police Department. It dawned on me that Chief Todd Schmaderer should have a copy of the book. Chief Schmaderer wasn’t even born when the August 17, 1970 murder of Patrolman Larry Minard happened. Schmaderer could indeed bring a new set of eyes to a cold case.
Unlike my requests to Governor Pete Ricketts and Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine to examine the conviction of Edward Poindexter, I had prepared no letter for Schmaderer. The duty officer at the front desk solved my problem by urging me to autograph the book. I used a dedication to urge that justice be done.
Poindexter, who is serving a life without parole sentence at the maximum-security Nebraska State Penitentiary, was convicted with David Rice (later Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa) for the bombing death of Minard. The pair were leaders of a Black Panther affiliate chapter called the National Committee to Combat Fascism and were targets of the illegal and clandestine COINTELPRO operation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Mondo died in March 2016 at the prison.
Federal manipulation of evidence and conflicting police testimony marred the controversial 1971 trial that led to life sentences for the two black leaders. FRAMED details the trial tampering, unknown by the jury, that included a withheld FBI Laboratory report on the identity of a 911 caller that lured Minard to his death. Questionable dynamite evidence is also reviewed in the book which took a decade to research and write making use of the Freedom of Information Act to pry out long-held secrets of law enforcement misdeeds in the case.
County Attorney Don Kleine, hired by Donald Knowles who prosecuted the two Panther leaders, has been asked to reopen the investigation of Minard’s murder. Kleine would need the cooperation and assistance of the Omaha Police Department to undertake such a task. Schmaderer could investigate the identity of the unknown 911 caller, an inquiry called off by the FBI a week after the bombing. There is no statute of limitations on murder.
Edward Poindexter steadfastly denies any role in the killing of Minard and wants justice for the Minard family, not just freedom for himself. Both Poindexter and Mondo repeatedly refused any discussion of a pardon in exchange for an admission of guilt. Poindexter sums it up, “I was falsely accused and wrongfully convicted.”
Up next, Ed Poindexter is denied a news media visit in prison.
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.