The MOVE Organization vs Philadelphia Police Essay

The MOVE Organization vs Philadelphia Police Essay

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The MOVE Organization surfaced in Philadelphia in the early 1970’s. The MOVE movement was one of “back-to-nature,” which was poorly understood by their urban neighbors and the local government and possibly by the organization itself (McCoy). John Africa, who is said to have been illiterate, founded MOVE. It was a loosely organized and sparsely populated organization. I argue that the failure of MOVE to “bow to the man” and the lack of police and government self-control, led to the abuse of power and police brutality that culminated on May 13, 1985 of which the magnitude Black’s theories fail to predict. Black’s theories on law, specifically “Socio Economic Status” and “Organization” and its bearing on the application of law, will be used to analyze the MOVE II incident.
MOVE had established a compound for their members in the Powelton neighborhood of the City of Philadelphia. The organization wanted animals freed and treated as equals to humans. They protested animal treatment; spewing their mantra at community events (McCoy). These protests were part of their naturalist movement, which is how they lived their lives. Their children were unclothed and all members lived in inhabitable conditions. In 1978, the police attempted to allow city inspectors to examine the condition of the compound, which became a “shelter for dozens of dogs and a breeding ground for rats” (McCoy). MOVE barricaded themselves in the Powelton compound for a month, causing the city to take physical action to enter. The city used fire hoses to flush out the handful of cult members (McCoy). The confrontation between MOVE and the city resulted in gunfire, which killed a police officer (McCoy). Charges were brought against the nine adult members found in the hous...


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...source:http://www.philly.com/philly/news/inq_HT_MOVE25.html?c=r>.
Small, Bernard. City of Philadelphia. Philadelphia Police Department. Move. Philadelphia: , 1985. Web..
Small, Bernard. City of Philadelphia. Philadelphia Police Department. Move 1978 vs 1985. Philadelphia: , 1985. Web. .
Stevens, William. "Inferno's Aftermath: Blow to the Police."New York Times 16 May 1985, Late Edition n. pag. Web. 17 Nov. 2013. .

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