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 called 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 3rd degree murder and sentenced to 30 to 100 years in prison. One died in prison on March 17, 1998. The other eight were denied parole for the fourth time in 2011. Each one has another parole hearing in 2012 and each year after that if they are denied parole.

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

Most Recent Reflection

View all 41 Reflections

A few years before his death he served as an assistant instructor to the Philadelphia Young Marines detachment at that time based at the Northeast Reserve Base which became the Philadelphia Police Academy ironically many years later.

Officer Ramp provided marksmanship training to us and really helped me with qualifying for the detachment's competitive rifle team along with the active duty Marines serving at the reserve center.

He was an excellent instructor and modest about his service in the Marine Corps and the dangers he faced on the Philadelphia Stakeout squad. A role model former Marine and police officer.

Charles Robinson
Young Marines Instructor/Student

September 13, 2019

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