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City Leaders, Residents Have Mixed Reactions With AM-MOVE

May 15, 1985

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ While a state legislator called for the resignation of Managing Director Leo Brooks, a poll released Wednesday showed that residents supported the MOVE assault he directed, despite 11 deaths and the destruction of 53 houses.

State Sen. Hardy Williams, a Democrat whose district includes the west Philadelphia neighborhood, called for Brooks’ resignation during a tour of the devasted area.

Brooks, a former Army major general who served in Vietnam, was in charge of the police and fire operations Monday and approved Police Commissioner Gregore Sambor’s order to drop a bomb on the MOVE house. The ensuring fire destroyed 53 rowhouses and damaged eight others.

″He caused the bombing of a house in Philadelphia and that’s foreign to Americans,″ Williams said.

″I haven’t got anything against generals, but anytime you bomb a house, it’s about time they get rid of you. I just think that’s a bit far.″

Goode brushed off Williams’ comments, reiterating that he took full responsibility and would not single out ″scapegoats.″

A poll by WCAU-TV and Steve Teichner and Associates found that 71 percent of the metropolitan area residents polled approved of Goode’s handling of the MOVE showdown, with 29 percent giving him an unfavorable rating.

The poll of 300 people in Philadelphia, its suburbs and south New Jersey was taken after Goode’s televised address to the city Tuesday evening. It has a margin of error of 5.8 percent.

The favorable rating was even higher - 74 percent - among city residents.

Dianne L. Semingson, who heads up the city’s publicity efforts, said she was concerned with how the nation perceived the incident.

″There’s going to be an effort to make the city’s actions known as being absolutely necessary,″ Ms. Semingson said without elaborating.

Meanwhile, a class-action suit was filed by the Haverford, Pa., firm of Greefield & Chimicles. The suit named as defendants the city of Philadelphia, the state - which supplied the helicopter used in the bomb drop - Goode and other city officials. It did not specify the damages sought.

The firm has agreed to represent the homeowners without charging a fee, according to senior partner Richard D. Greenfield.

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