OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The group seeking freedom for a man convicted of killing an Omaha police officer in the 1970s is hoping to spread their message to a larger audience.
If you’re driving on Highway 75, headed downtown, you can spot the black-and-white photo of a Black man wearing a nametag with the words "Freedom for Ed" beside him.
Preston Love Jr., founder of Black Votes Matter, is not only familiar with Ed Poindexter, but grew up with him in the same neighborhood. His group along with many donors paid for the billboard advocating for his old neighbor.
“Some will know and think and reflect and maybe take action to help us," Love said. "Some will say 'Who is Ed Poindexter?' and look it up and maybe get inspired to help us.”
For some in the Omaha, Poindexter’s name and story is familiar. For some its the story of a Black Panther who conspired with David Rice, later known as Mondo, to kill Officer Larry Minard with a bomb in 1970.
For others, it's the story of an innocent man, now serving a life sentence for the crime of being associated with the Black Panthers. Kiertryn Zychal, a freelance journalist who has studied and written about Poindexter's case, is one of his supporters.
“They seemed like they could have done it because of the kind of things they were saying," Zychal said. "And all of the evidence, if you look at the evidence against, none of it stands up.”
Innocence or guilt aside, Love believes Poindexter, who suffers from many health problems and is at high risk for dying from COVID-19, should be granted a compassionate release.
“In 2021, with all the calls for people who affirm and support Black Lives Matter, well this is a Black life," Love said.
The group hoping to free Poindexter has been petitioning Nebraska’s Board of Pardons and Governor Pete Ricketts. They’re hoping that with this sign, elected officials and the everyday person will be inspired to join their cause.
3 News Now reached out to Omaha’s Police Officer's Association for a comment, but did not hear back from them.