Former Black Panther David Rice, who was one of two Black Panthers, was charged with the murder of an Omaha police officer in 1970 and died in prison on Saturday 12 March.
According to several reports Rice, also known as Mondo we Langa, had been receiving treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease since 2013. Nebraska Department of Correctional Services spokesman Andrew Nystrom said that Langa died around midnight on Saturday at the state penitentiary in Lincoln, Nebraska.
He stated “The 68-year-old Rice, who had changed his name to Mondo we Langa, was convicted along with fellow Black Panther Edward Poindexter in the death of officer Larry Minard. Authorities say they lured police to a house with a 911 call, then detonated a homemade bomb that killed Minard”.
Langa and Poindexter were investigated by the FBI COINTELPRO during the height of the Black Panthers activism, and in recent years Amnesty International called for a retrial as new details about the case were discovered. They called for the release of the two men or a retrial but neither request was made in 2009.
The discovery of the 911 tape pins the two men to the unfortunate killing of Larry Minard. In 1970 witness Duane Peak, who was 15-years-old, along with Poindexter and Langa believed that the voice in the recording was that of an adult male. Because of this revelation there was 1983 appeal, but the judge determined that there was not enough information to create reasonable doubt.
Langa remained in prison for 45 years. He asked for parole in 2014 but that request was denied. A pending investigation will lead to further details about Langa’s death, but at the moment investigators do not fully comprehend how he died.