Thursday, August 15, 2019


I listened to a local talk radio host rant for the entire trip home about how the civilian bystanders in the vicinity of yesterday's shootout in Philadelphia pelted the police with garbage and other things even as the cops were getting shot at. The talk radio guy must have spittle of rage flying out of his mouth as he described how the Philadelphians were treating the police in the assault. He sounded ignorant of life in Philadelphia so a little lesson from the memory hole.

You can read the details of the 1985 Philly police assault on the Africa house here. The upshot is that the cops decided to collude with the FBI to drop a bomb on the house they were assaulting and the fire spread out of control as the police told the firemen to let it burn. This is what it looked like when it was over.

The final score by the time it was extinguished four hours later, 61 houses had been burned to the gound. Apart from a woman and 13-year-old boy who escaped when the fire started, everyone in the MOVE house was dead. The 11 deaths included MOVE founder John Africa, five adults and five children between the ages of seven and 13. Despite investigations and formal apologies, neither the mayor, nor the police commissioner, nor anyone else from the city was criminally charged.

There's a reason why the natives are restless when the police come calling and start calling in tactical forces and applying military assault tactics to police matters. In their experience the cure is far worse than the disease. They're wrong but ignorant and don't know that the police are just there to help them.


  1. surprisingly, the DOD LE Assistance Program turned down the Philly PD request in 1986 for M134D miniguns for the SWAT unit. they already had their air support unit equipped with helios and what not along with armored vehicles and other typical luxury items care of the tax payer.

  2. Once you have developed a reputation, it takes a L-O-O-O-O-N-G time to live it down.

    1. I must agree with you on that. Philly has never been on my list of desired places to visit. it's right down there with east saint louis and chicago and its environs. we flew over baltimore once and the aircraft was hit by a thirty caliber bullet. hit counter went off and the aircraft commander wrote it up as a malfunction. cleared the write up as found thirty caliber bullet hole forward of the left aileron outer hinge point. 1976 was a very good year.

  3. Replies
    1. Funny you should write that. Last night I put together a post and sat on it thinking it might need some polishing or least proof reading and editing.

    2. "All great minds....". Not that Caligula's was all that great.

    3. Well yeah, there's that. But think about it. Emperor of Rome!