Linn Washington


An insignificant protest against the caging of animals at the Philadelphia Zoo in 1972 by a band of boisterous, profanity-spewing radicals known as MOVE marked the inauspicious beginning of a series of violent clashes between this increasingly lawless sect and brutal Philadelphia police officers. The confrontations culminated in a shoot-out between MOVE members and police on May 13, 1985, in which a police helicopter dropped a bomb on a heavily fortified row house occupied by MOVE. The bomb sparked a firestorm which killed 11 MOVE members and gutted 61 homes, leaving 250 people homeless. Although only three MOVE members were named in police arrest warrants, the dead included five children whose ages ranged from 7 to 14 years old. The series of conflicts between police and MOVE ultimately claimed a dozen lives and consumed close to $50 million in city expenditures.

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