‘Mad or nah?’: Philly residents react to Penn’s storage of MOVE childrens’ remains

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Protesters marched on the University of Pennsylvania’s campus on April 28, 2021, over Penn Museum’s mistreatment of the remains of children Tree and Delisha Africa who were killed when the city dropped explosives on MOVE's headquarters in 1985. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Protesters demonstrated this week outside Penn Museum over the handling of the recently revealed MOVE remains. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

The 1985 state-sanctioned bombing of the MOVE compound in West Philadelphia is often regarded as one of the most egregious acts of police brutality recorded in American history.

More than 30 years later, the MOVE bombing remains a relevant topic of conversation, even more so as of late.

It was revealed in April that the University of Pennsylvania kept remains thought to belong to children killed in the police bombing for decades, unbeknownst to the family. The remains were also used for teaching purposes.

Outrage ensued, as did a protest on the university’s campus. The University of Pennsylvania eventually issued an apology for “allowing human remains recovered from the MOVE house to be used for research and teaching, and for retaining the remains for far too long.”

Tamara Russell, aka P.O.C., hit the streets of Philadelphia to further explore how Philadelphians were feeling about this story, which garnered international attention.

Tamara Russell is a partner in WHYY’s News and Information Community Exchange, a mutual-aid journalism collaborative that organizes, supports, and develops grassroots content creators.

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