Relive MOVE With a Journalist Who Was Right There

NBC Philadelphia’s Jim Barger was right there when MOVE changed Philadelphia forever on My 13, 1985.

Barger, a photographer for then WCAU-TV, worked for 26 straight hours on Osage Avenue in West Philly, just feet from where the MOVE standoff went down. The only times he left his post were to grab a bite to eat at a nearby grocery store.

Jim was one of the guys responsible for getting the infamous shot of a police helicopter dropping a bomb onto the MOVE compound.

The aftermath of the standoff was 11 MOVE members dead and nearly a whole city block burnt to the ground.

Twenty-five years later Barger, who now serves as Director of Engineering and Operations for NBC Philadelphia, looks back:

"It was a day unlike any other I have ever experienced or will ever experience again -- I hope. In a word --  "surreal."

Imagine standing just steps away from a neighborhood that in a few hours, would be ashes. That was my day. It started with a call from my boss Dave Harvey asking me to get to the station and jump in the helicopter, I asked why, he told me there was a gun battle going on in the city. On my drive in, I thought wait -- they have guns and I’m going to be flying above them??? I never got in the chopper.

That decision changed my life forever."

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