Friday, February 29, 2008

A Letter To The Parole Board Regarding MOVE

Kelly Krokos
Victim Assistance Coordinator
Office Of The Victim Advocate
1101 S Front Street Suite 5200
Harrisburg PA 17104

Dear Ms Krokos:

In response to your correspondence of November 20, 2007, I am writing to you concerning the Parole review of the following individuals:

William Phillips, Parole #7765P
Delbert Orr, Parole #8053K
Edward Goodman, Parole #0640J
Michael Davis, Parole #7420P

In the most rigid and unyielding terms possible, I am requesting the Parole Board to deny granting Parole to these individuals.

I firmly believe that their release from prison would definitely jeopardize the safety and well-being of the Citizens of Philadelphia, as they are part of a dangerous terrorist group known as "MOVE.". The members of this group are still active and have followers within our City.
The four MOVE members, who are now seeking Parole for the ruthless murder of a Philadelphia Police Officer, were part of a rebellious body of people who, on August 8, 1978, challenged the authority of Philadelphia’s Government by inciting a shootout with Police.

My memory of this shootout is unforgettable. Etched in my mind forever is seeing Philadelphia Police Officer James Ramp being shot to death, along with three other Stakeout Unit Officers and six Firemen all writing in pain, as a result of each one being shot and seriously wounded during the violent confrontation.

All the members of the MOVE Organization, including the four principals mentioned in this correspondence, had a history of intimidating, assaulting, and terrorizing their neighbors in the Powelton Village area of Philadelphia for a number of years.

However, the confrontation MOVE had with Police on August 8, 1978, actually started fifteen months earlier on May 20, 1977, when this "back to nature group", all of whom use the surname "Africa," brandished an arsenal of makeshift bombs, rifles, and automatic weapons. They threatened police with their weapons while at the same time, cursing and screaming insults at the Police through the use of a bullhorn, from the porch of their 33rd Street "fortress".

The Command Staff of the Philadelphia Police Department chose not to have a confrontation, at this time. Instead, they chose to investigate and observe this Group of terrorists, gathering intelligence information over the next 15 months.

As one of the Investigators, I knew William Phillips, Delbert Orr, Edward Goodman, and Michael Davis, along with the other MOVE members to be anti-social, non-conformists, who did not work, and seldom washed themselves. They wore their hair in dread-locks, peppered their language with many obscenities, and had their children go naked. In addition, they collected welfare checks and lived in a rat, roach, and rodent infested house that was overrun with dozens of flea-bitten dogs. The house was strewn with garbage, animal feces and filth. The smell in the vicinity of the house, which lingered heavily in the air, was sickening. The foul odors, filth, and rotting garbage all types of insects. The smell was so bad that many Police Officers who were assigned to the Detail, often complained of nausea and gagging every time they had to be in the near proximity of the MOVE compound.

In continuing, the MOVE group were known to traffic in drugs and conspire in the manufacture and possession of bombs. In addition, their assaults and intimidation of their neighbors continued on a daily basis. This was the make-up of the terrorist group MOVE by which the Philadelphia Police were confronted with on that fateful August day in 1978.

At one point, Monsignor Charles Devlin of the Cardinal Commission on Human Relations, along with a Police Representative urged the MOVE group to surrender, prior to the Police serving Warrants of Arrest and Eviction on the members of this radical group.

The MOVE members failed to respond to several warnings by Police to leave the premises.

Their refusal, resulted in bulldozers with bulletproof shields being called in to knock down the fortifications of the MOVE compound. Rats-as big as cats-scampered from the compound as the bulldozers pressed forward.

At one point, the Police Stakeout Unit entered the premises but could not find anyone on the first three floors. The MOVE members, including William Phillips, Delbert Orr, Edward Goodman, and Michael Davis, all armed with weapons had already retreated to the basement in preparation for their "last stand." This information was confirmed when a Stakeout Officer, assigned to the perimeter, reported he saw members of MOVE armed with rifles and automatic weapons.

In an effort to disrupt MOVE’s line of fire, high pressure water deluge guns were used by Philadelphia Firefighters in an attempt to flush them out . Shortly after the deluge guns went into action, a barrage of bullets were fired at police from the basement windows of the MOVE compound. Police, in return, quickly exchanged gunfire with a heavy volley of bullets coming from their own fortifications.

Police and Firefighters alike had to retreat from their original positions in an effort to protect themselves from MOVE’s deadly attack. At this point, the intensity of the firefight increased and so did the casualties, as hundreds of bullets were being fired at each other. Stakeout Police Officer Tom Hesson was in the middle of the gun battle, when he saw his friend and veteran Stakeout Officer Jim Ramp get shot. Officer Ramp was immediately knocked to the ground as a result of a high velocity bullet striking him in the neck. The bullet shattered Officer Ramp’s collarbone, traversed his body, and then entered his head, killing him instantly. This veteran Stake out Officer, loving father, and highly decorated Marine Gunnery Sergeant’s lifeless body now lay dead in the street. He was killed by a merciless radical group, whose philosophy was now one in which their teachings professed that: "Political power comes out of the barrel of a gun."

At this time, I saw Officer Hesson (not knowing the seriousness of Officer Ramp’s injury) instinctively go to Officer Ramp’s aid, without regard to his own safety. Unfortunately, Officer Hesson was shot in the chest, right below the heart, as he tried to make his way through a hail of bullets. The high velocity bullet that tore through Officer Hesson’s Shield, protective vest, and finally his chest, broke into several pieces upon impact. Bullet fragments went into Officer Henson’s lung, spleen, stomach, and diaphragm. A fragment also nicked his heart. Officer Hesson stated later that he could feel the blood leaving his body. He thought about dying. The important things in his life flashed before him. He was afraid he would never see his wife or two children again. Despite his urgency to live, he had to struggle to keep his eyes open. He knew if he closed them, he might never open his eyes again!

Lieutenant Bill Krause of the Stakeout Unit was also shot. The Lieutenant took a bullet in the right arm, blowing away most of the tissue and arm muscle. The bullet continued traveling into his side, causing extensive damage is it ripped into his abdomen and colon.

Stakeout Officer Charles Stewart was another victim of MOVE’s viciousness, as he lay in excruciating pain. Blood was spurting, like a faucet, from his wounds. Officer Stewart was bleeding from his neck. He also had a large gaping hole in his thigh. As we helped carry Officer Stewart to the wagon for transportation to the hospital, I couldn’t help to think what kind of weapons and ammunition was being used by MOVE to cause such a large wound in the Officer’s leg.

All three Stakeout Officers,-Tom Hesson, William Krause, and Charles Stewart-never fully recovered from their injuries on that fateful day. The three Officers were placed on Permanent Disability, as they were unable to return to Police work.

The Philadelphia Police had finally ended MOVE’s fifteen month siege at Powelton Village forty five minutes after the shooting began. The surrender of the of the revolutionary group MOVE ended a violent era in the history of Philadelphia. The weapons confiscated from the MOVE compound included: two, .45 caliber semi-automatic pistols, two, 12 gauge shotguns; three .22 caliber semi-automatic rifles; two .30 caliber carbines, one, 7.65 Mauser; and approximately 2,000 rounds of ammunition. The arrests culminated in a lengthy trial in which nine of the MOVE members who were charged with murder, conspiracy, and related offenses were convicted of their crimes. Within that group were;: William Phillps, Delbert Orr, Edward Goodman, and Michael Davis..

Despite the fact that the offenders went to jail for lengthy prison terms , it will not bring Officer James Ramp back to life. Jim Ramp will never again have the opportunity to love, laugh, or enjoy his family. Officer Ramp’s love for life was stolen by hostile terrorists, whose hearts are filled with hate. Let us not forget the family of Jim Ramp. We cannot share their pain. We cannot share their pain. We cannot share their loneliness, nor can we replace a love that was forever lost.

Let us not forget the anguish and agony endured by Officers Tom Hesson, Charles Stewart, and Lieutenant Bill Krause in their attempts to recover from the debilitating injuries that adversely affected their lives. May the courage of these Officers never become a faded memory of the past, nor may the courage of Police Officer James Ramp be forever sealed in the silence of death. We shall never forget the service and sacrifice of these Officers, as we want their spirit to live on forever.

It is for the reasons set forth herein this letter that I firmly and respectfully request that the Parole Board deny granting Parole to:

William Phillips, Parole #7765P
Delbert Orr, Parole #8053K
Edward Goodman, Parole #0640J
Michael Davis, Parole #742OP

In the event that you have any questions, or if I can be of any further service to you in communicating how much danger to the public it would present if these terrorists of MOVE were to be paroled, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Respectfully yours,
Michael G. Lutz
Immediate Past President
Pennsylvania State Lodge
Fraternal Order Of Police


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