PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A shocking resignation and admission from now Philadelphia’s now-former health commissioner. Dr. Thomas Farley admitted he gave the OK to cremate human remains from the 1985 bombing of the MOVE headquarters.
The disturbing revelations came out on Thursday on the 36th anniversary of the bombing that killed 11 people on Osage Avenue. The remains were cremated and disposed of back in 2017, long after the tragedy in Philadelphia’s Powelton Village neighborhood.READ MORE: Ericka Brair Killed In 'Crime Of Passion' Day Before She Was Due To Testify In Court
Eyewitness News spoke with the Africa family on Thursday night. They said today was a hard day learning of possible new human remains that were found and later discarded, but nothing can top the feelings they felt on this day — 36 years ago.
Hundreds of people gathered to remember those lives lost during the MOVE bombing of 1985.
Decades later, that wound is reopening for the Africa family after learning Dr. Thomas Farley cremated and disposed of remains found from the MOVE bombing on the news.
“Now, we found out that they’re talking about remains of other people that they say were in the house,” Janine Africa said. “So, we’re angry, on top of hurt. It’s like we have to live 1985 all over again.”
Africa lost her newborn baby years ago after a cop allegedly crushed Life Africa’s skull.
Mayor Jim Kenney says he spoke with members of the Africa family, and personally apologized, but the family who lived through the tragedy says they never heard from him.READ MORE: Ocean County Couple Among Those Missing In Building Collapse Near Miami
“Somebody sent us a copy of the statement from Mayor Kenne,” Africa said. “This is how we’ve been getting all of the news about the situation, not from them personally.”
The family feels the resignation of the health commissioner is just another political ploy.
“That resignation really means nothing to us,” Africa said. “To me, he’s just a scapegoat, because they’ve known about this all along. But since it’s been exposed, somebody has to be held accountable so he’s the one.”
The family says an apology won’t bring back their children or heal the wound from that tragic day, and they can’t fathom why they were not contacted about the new remains that were found.
“They had those bones and they were using them in college courses for anthropology forensics,” Africa said. “So who does that? Knowing that their family were here? They could have contacted us anytime.”
There’s just one thing they want now.
“They want to do something for MOVE? Free Mumia [Abu-Jamal], that’s all they can do help us feel any kind of relief about this situation,” Africa said. “Other than that apology means nothing to us.”MORE NEWS: Philadelphia Board Of Education To Officially Rename Andrew Jackson Elementary School
On Saturday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., the MOVE family will hold a remembrance ceremony at Cobbs Creek Park.