The University of Pennsylvania apologized in April for what it described as the “insensitive, unprofessional and unacceptable” treatment of human remains from the 1985 police bombing of the MOVE house in Philadelphia. Earlier in April, it was revealed that two bones from a young, still unidentified victim of the bombing had been housed for decades in the Penn Museum. Also this spring, Princeton University apologized for its part in the case, including allowing the victim’s remains to be used as teaching tools for an online course created at Princeton and offered through Coursera.
The Penn Museum commissioned an independent study of what happened and released the report — prepared by the Tucker Law Group — on Wednesday.
The report found that a Penn anthropologist and the museum did not violate any professional, ethical or legal standards, but it said that their actions “demonstrated, at a minimum, poor judgment and insensitivity.” The Tucker Law investigators noted that contrary to media reports, “efforts were indeed made to identify the remains with the goal of returning them to MOVE family members.”