A second member of the MOVE 9 has been released from prison on parole.
Mike Africa Sr. had been in jail since 1978 for his involvement in a police shootout in Philadelphia’s Powelton Village that killed Officer James Ramp. This happened years before the infamous 1985 MOVE bombing.
His wife Debbie Africa was the first member of the MOVE 9 to be released from prison in June.
Africa’s first night out of prison was spent at the home of his son, Mike Africa, Jr., with Debbie and his grandchildren.
“I feel good. A little overwhelmed, trying to take in everything,” said Africa via his lawyer’s cell phone. “I feel great, just being around my family.”
Since 1998 Africa was in SCI Graterford. He was transferred to the newly-constructed SCI Phoenix when it opened this year. Since becoming eligible for parole in 2008, he was denied nine times.
Africa doesn’t know why he was released this time, but says his good behavior probably played a part.
“The main thing is staying out of trouble, right? That’s the main thing,” he said. “But I think my accomplishments came in the way of mentoring young guys coming through, and telling them to take a different look, go a different route.”
Two of the original MOVE 9 have died in prison. The remaining five are still behind bars.