Delbert Africa of MOVE Being Attacked by Philadelphia Police on Aug. 8, 1978
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ONA MOVE! It has come to our attention that Cops involved in trying to kill our move family on August 8, 1978 were recently given awards for demonstrating valor and bravery on that day (See the attached newspaper article by Stu Bykofsky).
There is absolutely no bravery, no valor in cops that admitted to trying to kill innocent MOVE men, women babies and animals. These are cops that actually testified to emptying their guns into corners of the basement of our house where they heard babies crying, reloading their guns and emptying them again in the direction of crying babies.
These are cops that attacked our unarmed brother, Delbert Africa, as he came out of our house and beat him almost to death for no reason at all accept to vent their sadism and racism. Police officials blatantly lied and denied the attack on Delbert but it was caught on camera by a news team, so they were exposed for not only being vicious but also for being liars. Right after this vicious attack on MOVE people and as a direct result of it, The U.S. Justice Dept. indicted The Phila. Police Dept. for viciousness.
Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson issued these awards while apologizing for it taking so long (28 years) for them to be recognized. Understand something, these awards were given to 9 cops from The MOVE 9’s case, including two of the four cops captured on film viciously beating our brother Delbert Africa, this is definitely deliberate and not a coincidence. They’re sending a message, planning a so-called strategy. Stu Bykofsky says that he knows if there were allegations of police misconduct that day it wouldn’t have taken 28 years to put the cops on trial. What planet is Bykofsky living on?
Very few cops are ever even put on trial for police brutality. Case in point, District Attorney (now governor) Ed Rendell refused to prosecute the cops that were seen on film beating our brother Delbert on Aug. 8th. When MOVE refused to be quiet about it and consistently pushed the issue, Rendell said he couldn’t identify the cops from the film. When Delbert identified the cops by name, Rendell still took more than a year to file charges against these cops, and then he only filed charges of “official repression”, not “attempted murder” or even “aggravated assault”.
The presiding judge of this farce of a trial, Stanley Kubaki, never even allowed the jury to decide the case, he aquitted the cops of all charges himself. In the May 13, 1985 government bombing of MOVE where babies, women, men and animals were burned alive and shot to death to prevent any escape from the fire, not one single official was ever charged with anything.
When our sister, Ramona Africa, the only adult to survive that vicious attack, filed a federal civil suit against these officials and got a verdict in our favor, the presiding judge, Louis Pollak, over-ruled the jury and granted “immunity” after the verdict to the only two individual defendants that had not already been granted immunity- the police commissioner and the fire commissioner. Once again Bykofsky is exposed for just being a butt-kisser for this rotten system because he’s a journalist and knows about these examples and countless more that we don’t even know about, yet he made that asinine remark about cops being put on trial for police misconduct.
The issue of why it took so long to recognize these cops is raised by Police Commissioner Johnson and Bykofsky but was not answered so MOVE will answer it. These cops were not awarded before because this government did not want to call attention this massive injustice and raise even more questions that it couldn’t answer without indicting itself. MOVE will also tell you why system officials are focusing on these cops now, giving them awards for bravery now.
For those of you that don’t already know, The MOVE 9 is coming up for parole soon (2008), and officials want to vilify MOVE, label us as violent, as cop-killers while labeling the cops as heroic victims in order to try to build a case against The MOVE 9 being paroled, that’s all this is really about. The MOVE 9 have been in prison for almost thirty years for a crime that they didn’t commit, a crime that officials know they didn’t commit, and now they’re mounting a campaign to keep MOVE in prison.
There is absolutely no reason why The MOVE 9 should not be paroled (They should never have been sent to prison in the first place) and that’s another reason for these official theatrics. They have no valid reason to deny MOVE parole so they’re trying to turn public sentiment against us by praising the cops, generating sympathy for the cops and defaming MOVE.
They’re starting a campaign against the MOVE 9 and the MOVE family aint gonna sit by quietly and watch this vicious plot unfold without exposing it for what it is. Anytime these officials come with these offensive tactics we’re coming right back at ‘em and exposing them in defense of our family. Stay alert because we expect more of these deceptive and pathetic tactics from officials as the year 2008 gets closer. This is just the beginning.
THE MOVE ORGANIZATION
http:// www.cafepress.com/onamove and
Posted on Mon, Sep. 18, 2006
Stu Bykofsky Writes:
28-year wait to honor cops' valor
TWENTY-EIGHT years isn't too long to wait, is it?
In 1978, Frank Rizzo was mayor, Jimmy Carter was president, Poland's Cardinal Karol Wojtyla became Pope John Paul II, "Laverne & Shirley" was TV's biggest hit, "The Deer Hunter" was the best picture, and Philadelphia police carrying out a judge's order on Aug. 8 were fired upon by MOVE "revolutionaries."
Stakeout Officer James Ramp died, several other cops and firefighters were wounded and other cops risked their lives on that humid August morning. Their bravery was never recognized by their city or even by their department.
That changed last week when nine officers were honored during Police Department commendation ceremonies at Fraternal Order of Police headquarters. The nine are Police Officers James Ramp, Lawrence D'Ulisse, Thomas Hesson, Charles Stewart, Joseph Zagame, Harry Mackel, James Farry and Albert Crane, and Lt. William Krause.
The meeting hall was packed with friends and family of the Nine, plus the families of dozens of other cops recognized for outstanding police work in recent months. The Nine each received the Valor Award, the department's highest, given for bravery under fire.
The Big Question was why it took 28 years to recognize the Nine.
The Big Answer was not forthcoming.
No one wanted to venture an opinion - not former stakeout officer Hesson, shot in the chest that day; not former lieutenant Krause, shot in the stomach and right arm; not current Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson, who was in homicide in 1978 and remembers being stunned by the police radio call about a ferocious gun battle in Powelton Village.
"They should have done it a long time ago when I had people alive who would appreciate it, my family and all," said Hesson, who still carries bullet fragments in his chest. He was gunned down as he ran across the street to aid the mortally wounded Ramp, who had not even drawn his gun.
"I've been trying to get them to do it for a long time, but for some reason they wouldn't do it," he said.
Krause was "surprised" to get the recognition, but not surprised it took 28 years.
"I understand why," he said darkly.
I asked him to explain.
He paused. "I don't want to get involved."
Retired stakeout cop D'Ulisse wondered if the delay "was political or whatever."
I think "whatever," but I can't be sure, so I brought the question to Commissioner Johnson, who carefully distinguished between the 1985 Osage Avenue battle with MOVE and the Aug. 8, 1978, shootout.
"When a lot of people talk about MOVE, they talk about 1985," Johnson said. "In 1978, it was totally, completely different. I apologize to them for taking so long" for the recognition.
Did some sort of politics play a role?
"I try to stay away from politics as much as I can. I just try to do the right thing and the right thing is to honor them," Johnson said.
I looked back at the clips from 1978 and saw a traumatized city. Were the honors denied the cops because Philly felt shame or guilt for allowing the MOVE siuation to fester for 15 months? Was it fear of lawsuits? Worry about fanning racial tumult? The city's teeth were on edge after the shootout.
I tried to get a few words out of James Ramp's son, who lost the most that day, but someone pulled him away, maybe someone with bad feelings about the press, I don't know.
I do know if there had been allegations of police misconduct that day it wouldn't have taken 28 years to put the cops on trial.
But it took 28 years to honor them.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 215-854-5977. For recent columns: http://go.philly.com/byko.