Published 10:22 AM ET 13 May 2021 |
Philadelphia’s senior health officials resigned Thursday after the city’s mayor learned that some of the human remains from the bombing of the black-clothed organization’s headquarters in 1985 had been cremated and disposed of without fail. Inform family members (May 13)
PHILADELPHIA – A senior Philadelphia health official was forced to resign Thursday after the city’s mayor said he learned human remains from the bombing of a series of corporate headquarters. Black in 1985 was cremated and disposed of without notifying family members.
Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement that Health Commissioner Thomas Farley decided to cremate and dispose of the remains of the MOVE bomb victim years ago.
In a statement to the Mayor’s office, Farley said earlier in 2017, the city’s medical examiner, Dr Sam Gulino, had informed boxes containing materials related to the autopsy of the MOVE bomb victim.
“In the box there were bones and bone fragments, presumably from one or more victims,” Farley said.
It’s the standard procedure for preserving the sample after the autopsy is over and the remains are sent to the next relative of the benefactor, Farley said.
“Believing that the investigation involved in the MOVE bombing had been completed more than 30 years earlier and no longer wanted to hurt the victim’s family, I empowered Dr. Gulin took this procedure and removed the bone and bone fragments, ”Farley said.
The decision was his alone and other top city officials were not consulted, he said.
After a recent report that local institutions already had victims of the MOVE bomb, Farley said he reconsidered his actions and made a high level of alert.
“I am deeply sorry to have made this decision without consulting the victim’s family members, and I deeply apologize for the pain it has caused them,” Farley wrote.
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Kenney said Farley’s decision was negligent, and that Gulino was also suspended pending investigation, Kenney said.
Philadelphia police attempted to issue a warrant of arrest for four members and evicted the remnant of a group of blacks from city headquarters, bombing a fuel for a generator. The fire burned more than 60 shophouses, among the 11 killed, five children.
Kenney said he informed family members of what the authorities had done with the remains. Thursday marked the 36th anniversary of the bombing.
“Today I had the opportunity to meet with members of an African family and apologize for how the situation was handled and the way the city has treated them over the past five decades,” said Kenney.
MOVE members take the African surname after the group’s founder, John Africa.
Kenney said Farley took responsibility and resigned. The city hired a law firm to investigate.
A senior Philadelphia health worker left the job after the mayor said he learned the human remains from the 1985 bombing at the MOVE group headquarters had been cremated and disposed of without notifying members of the group. Family Know (13 May)
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