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PHOTO ESSAY

The 1985 Move Incident

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Testifying before the commission

Philadelphia Mayor W. Wilson Goode, Managing Director Leo Brooks, Fire Commissioner William Richmond, and Police Commissioner Gregore Sambor testify before the PSIC.

In testimony to the Philadelphia Special Investigation Commission (PSIC) that October, Philadelphia police commissioner Gregore Sambor insisted he was given assurances that the explosive dropped on MOVE was safe. "What has imprinted that device on the mind of the city is, in fact, the method of delivery," he said, referring to its helicopter discharge. "If it had been carried or thrown into position or if it had been dropped from a crane, the perception of that action would be quite different." Regardless of the actions of Sambor and Richmond, Mayor Goode took full responsibility for the event, saying in a press conference the night of the bombing "I was aware of what was going on…therefore, the people of the city will have to judge [me]" (Philadelphia Magazine). The eleven-person commission, led by former Equal Employment Opportunity Commission head William Brown III, was formed within two weeks of the bombing. On the way to its report in March 1986, the PSIC incorporated the assistance of forty-five law school students, seven investigators, and numerous authorities in forensic pathology and explosives; administered one thousand interviews; and broadcasted five weeks of televised hearings, at a cost of almost $1 million.

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