Freedom Fighter - Michael Davis Africa
Incarcerated since: 1978
Convicted of: Third-degree murder of police officer James Ramp during Philadelphia siege
Sentence: 30 years to life
Michael Africa was one of nine members of the Philadelphia Black liberation group convicted of the 1978 murder of police officer James Ramp during a shootout at the organization’s house at 311 N. 33rd St. in the Powelton Village area. The so-called MOVE 9 were sentenced on third-degree murder charges to 30 to 100 years in prison for the fatal shooting.
The Aug. 8, 1978, shooting of Ramp was the culmination of several confrontations between MOVE and the police department. A May 1985 standoff with police led to the firebombing death of 11 people, including MOVE founder John Africa, and the destruction of 65 homes in another part of West Philadelphia.
Africa is now the second MOVE 9 member to be released. His wife, Debbie, was paroled earlier this year. Of the seven others, two have died in prison — Merle in 1998 and Phil in 2015 — and the remaining have been eligible for parole since 2008.
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