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31 Howard L.J. 95 (1988)
The MOVE Bombing: An Annotated Bibliographic Index

handle is hein.journals/howlj31 and id is 105 raw text is: The MOVE Bombing: An Annotated
Bibliographic Index
J. CLAY SMITH, JR.*
INTRODUCTION
The 1985 bombing of a Philadelphia neighborhood by public offi-
cials in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania brought home the reality that the
governance of our cities is not an easy job. What went wrong? What
compelled city leaders and staff aides to conclude that the only way to
smoke out the unwelcome neighbors, members of a group named
MOVE on Osage Avenue, was by the use of a war-like bomb device
dropped from a helicopter? The conflagration resulting from the
bomb left eleven members of MOVE dead, five of whom were chil-
dren. Nearby, seventy homes were destroyed and forty others dam-
aged by the osmotic fire which left two-hundred and fifty citizens
homeless. The nation was shocked by the decision to bomb the
MOVE group. News of this action reached far corners of the world.
The MOVE bombing urges, if not compels, students of law, gov-
ernment, psychology and social science to study the decision making
process that lead up to the tragedy. The incident should not be shoved
aside as an unfortunate episode in American life. More study is
needed to determine why the risks were not assessed against the public
duty to respond to the legitimate demands of the complaining neigh-
bors of MOVE.
The cost of the MOVE siege was expensive both in human life
and public resources. The latest figure is that the property damage is
now in excess of $16.7 million.1 The incident has and no doubt will
be a political issue for some time.2
* Dean, Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C.
1. Loeb, Cost of MOVE Siege Now Put at $16.7 Million, Phila. Inquirer, Oct. 24, 1986, at
B1, col.2.
2. Stevens, Philadelphians Cast Votes in Mayoral Primary Races, N.Y. Times, May 20,
1987 at Al8, col. 1; Cooke, Contractor Details Osage Kirkback, Phil. Inquirer, July 16, 1987, at
BI, col. 1.

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