Frank Rizzo, Philadelphia Chief of Police from 1968 to 1971
Throughout the 1970's, Frank Rizzo was the premier figure in Philadelphia government. He started as a street cop and rose through the ranks, eventually serving as Police Commissioner from 1967-71.
During this time, he gained notoriety for his "tough-guy" law enforcement tactics and racist attitude. In Philadelphia's Black ghettos, Rizzo's predominantly white police force was resented, feared and hated.
Capitalizing on his name recognition and tough-on-crime image, Rizzo mobilized sufficient voters to be elected mayor of the city for two terms from 1972 until 1980. Having built his career on opposing Black efforts to challenge the status quo, he ran the city with a prominent and heavy-handed police force that had a national reputation for brutality.
Philadelphia's overblown and unrestrained police department was a prime example of the type of injustice the system precipitated, so it was inevitable that MOVE would start to speak out against them. As with other issues, this was done using peaceful demonstrations. When MOVE successfully focused attention on police abuses, many community groups across the city sought MOVE's assistance with similar demonstrations in their own neighborhoods. As a result of this activism, the police began a concerted campaign of harassment against MOVE, breaking up demonstrations by arresting MOVE members on disorderly conduct charges or violations of whatever local ordinance could be made to apply.
The fact that MOVE's headquarters was located in an area of real estate specula-tion on the border of a university campus brought further legal entanglement. Beginning in 1975, the complaints of some neighboring property owners led to involvement of the Department of Licenses and Inspections and ultimately a civil suit by the city against MOVE. On November 18, Judge G. Fred DiBona, one of Rizzo's associates, ruled that city inspectors, with the assistance of the police, could enter MOVE's house to inspect it, but the case dragged on through numer-ous continuances and an appeal by MOVE to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Move… Who they are ?
"Video / 6 min / Couleur" ©2011 - "In Prison My Whole Life" de Marc Evans