Unsettled Legacy of MOVE

Unsettled Legacy of MOVE

A comprehensive 25th-anniversary look back at a devastating day in Philadelphia's history, when police bombed a row house. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

On May 13, 1985, the Philadelphia police descended on a city row house in an attempt to clear the building. They were allegedly responding to months of complaints by neighbors of noise, garbage and rats in the residence. It was home to a strange back-to-nature, liberation group known as MOVE, and they were no strangers to the police.

Unable to clear residents from the building using teargas, the police department made the decision to drop a military-grade explosive bomb on the house which resulted in 11 deaths (including 5 children) and the destruction of 65 homes in the resulting fires. Although an investigative commission later called the event “unconscionable,” no one from city government was ever charged criminally.

Editors at the Philadelphia Inquirer set out to produce a comprehensive package on the 25th anniversary of the MOVE bombing. It includes entire archives of stories and photos related to MOVE and its history. Inquirer staff devoted two months to the project, which includes 4 videos, a photo gallery, an interactive timeline and extensive articles.

The package won 1st Place Multimedia Project in the National Press Photographer Association’s Multimedia Contest for May, 2010.

CHANNEL: Philadelphia Inquirer

Video by Sarah J. Glover, Laurence Kesterson and Frank Wiese
Video Editing by Frank Wiese, Laurence Kesterson and Hai Do