Friday, July 9, 2010
25 Years Later, No Criminal Charges in MOVE Bombing
The D.A.'s office, in an April 6 letter, said it 'respectfully disapproved' the requests.
Africa, through two attorneys, then brought her private criminal complaints before Common Pleas Judge Frank Palumbo at a motions hearing yesterday. After hearing arguments from both sides, Palumbo denied the requests to issue murder warrants against former Mayor Wilson Goode, former Police Commissioner Gregore Sambor, the officers who made or dropped the bomb and other former city officials and cops.
Leon Williams, representing Africa, argued yesterday that the court should conduct a de novo review of the case and issue murder warrants against the 11 former city officials and cops. He said D.A. Seth Williams undertook no new investigation before his office rejected the private criminal complaints. Williams' co-counsel, Michael Coard, said there is 'no statute of limitations on murder' and contended that prosecutors could make out a murder case against the former officials and cops.
Assistant District Attorney William James said his office as a matter of policy does not accept private criminal complaints in matters that allege felonies. He said that the case had been 'fully and completely investigated' by a grand jury decades ago and that the grand jury had rejected criminal charges against city officials and police at the time. He also told the judge that it is a legitimate policy decision for the D.A.'s office to save scarce resources by not investigating a matter again.
The picture to the right is the LIFE Magazine aerial photograph of the damage done to the West Philadelphia residences by the police bombing of the MOVE residence. This is one of those unbelievable examples of excessive use of force that should be forever burned in our collective consciousness. Why do we do these things to ourselves, what part of our social ego requires incinerating children and other innocent bystanders to make a point about the rule of law?