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Former Black Panther member Edward Poindexter passes away in prison while serving a life sentence

Edward Poindexter, a former Black Panther, has died in prison while serving a life sentence for the 1970 killing of a white Nebraska police officer in a home bombing. Poindexter maintained his innocence, and his death is being investigated. He was diagnosed with advanced kidney disease and Parkinson’s disease in 2022, prompting advocacy for his release. Poindexter was convicted based on questionable testimony, and he and his co-defendant, David Rice, accused the FBI of targeting them due to their affiliation with the Black Panther Party. A teenager testified at trial that he lured the police officer to the site of the explosion through a phone call, and claimed that the two defendants directed him to plant the explosive. However, an appeal revealed doubts regarding the authenticity of the recording of this phone call. Local activist Preston Love Jr. has called for Poindexter’s release and criticized the trial’s handling, citing the volatile racial and political climate of the 1960s. He described the trial as “questionable,” with reports of people changing their testimony and being afraid for their lives. Love Jr. also stated that there wasn’t much investigative work done, and that Poindexter and Rice were targeted due to their association with the Black Panther Party rather than substantial evidence linking them to the crime.

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