From: Freedom Archives
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COINTELPRO case put on stage in musical about Omaha Two and Midwestern racism
December 11, 3:31 PM Boston Progressive Examiner
http://www.examiner .com/examiner/ x-1969-Boston- Progressive- Examiner~ y2009m12d11- COINTELPRO- case-put- on-stage- in-musical- about-Omaha- Two-and-Midweste rn-racism
The plight of two political prisoners and the murder of an Omaha policeman are unlikely subjects of entertainment at $40 a ticket but that is what is onstage these days in Nebraska's largest city.
The story of Black Panther leaders Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa (formerly David Rice), imprisoned for the bombing murder of a policeman, is highlighted in a multi-media musical What's Goin' On.
Scripted by Butch Reed and orchestrated by Stan Spurgeon, the theatrical production is evidence of a malaise in Omaha that will not go away. A half-dozen vocalists and a ten-piece band performing Motown songs while archival photos and video are shown are not enough to heal the hurt from the tragic crime of August 17, 1970, when Larry Minard was killed while responding to a 911 call.
Retired Nebraska educator Nan Graf has called the crime a festering open wound that will not heal and has said that the heart of justice is missing in the case. The two Panther leaders are now in their 39th year of imprisonment for a crime they deny any role.
At the time of Minard's murder both Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa were targets of a clandestine operation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation codenamed COINTELPRO and a secret local law enforcement task force called Domino.
Unknown to the jury that convicted the two Panthers, the director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, had personally ordered the Omaha field office to get the two men off the street and also ordered the director of the FBI crime lab to withhold evidence in the case. With the help of Assistant Chief of Police Glen W. Gates, Hoover saw to it the jury never got to hear the voice of Minard's actual killer captured on a recording of the 911 call that lured police into an ambush.
While the FBI took care of the 911 tape, the Domino task force "discovered" dynamite in Mondo's house with two Omaha detectives both vying for credit for the purported find. Ultimately a 15 year-old, Duane Peak, confessed to the crime but claimed after cutting a deal with prosecutors that Ed and Mondo had put him up to bombing.
Larry Minard, the father of five young children, was buried on what would have been his 30th birthday.
Peak walked free after a short sentence in juvenile detention. Raleigh House, the named supplier of the dynamite at trial, was never charged. The unknown 911 caller was never identified or brought to justice.
Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa are serving life sentences at the maximum-security Nebraska State Penitentiary. Mondo has described their imprisonment as payment on a debt they do not owe.
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