Police Officer James J. Ramp

Police Officer James J. Ramp

Philadelphia Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Tuesday, August 8, 1978

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James J. Ramp

Police Officer James Ramp was shot and killed during a standoff with a radical group known as MOVE.

A shootout resulted when Officer Ramp and several other officers tried to evict 12 adults and 11 children from their headquarters at 33rd and Pearl Streets. Officer Ramp was shot from the MOVE house while pushing someone else out of the line of fire. Four other officers, five firefighters, and three bystanders were also shot and wounded. All 12 adults were taken into custody.

Nine of the 12 were convicted of third-degree murder and sentenced to 30 to 100 years in prison. One died in prison on March 17th, 1998. Seven of the eight remaining subjects were paroled by 2020.

Officer Ramp had served with the Philadelphia Police Department for 23 years and had previously served with the United States Marine Corps; he survived combat in both World War II and Korea.

He was survived by his wife and is buried in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Cheltenham, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.


  • Age 52
  • Tour 23 years
  • Badge 2989
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle
  • Offender Sentenced to 30 to 100 years

eviction, terrorism

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Please note that this is part of the write up on this incident on "Today in History" on the internet today (5/13/2021):
"The roots of the 1985 incident date back to 1978 when a confrontation between MOVE and the police left Officer James Ramp dead. Several innocent MOVE members were convicted of murder, enraging other members. Leader John Africa began a counterattack on Christmas Eve, 1983."
"INNOCENT"! Can you believe that lie is being sold to us by The History Channel?

James Benard Barber, Proud US Citizen
Former resident of Philadelphia.

May 13, 2021

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