Marines Admit Blame

Almost five years after Bruce Yamashita was insulted, abused, and kicked out of Officer Candidate School (OCS), the Marines have admitted blame and have made him a captain in the Reserves.

Mr. Yamashita, a Washington attorney of Japanese ancestry, said Jan. 3 that the military's recognition that racial harassment played a role in his 1989 dismissal from OCS was ``very, very important. It's something that the Marine Corps has just been ignoring.''

Yamashita will be appointed captain in the Marine Corps Reserve, the rank he would have attained by now had he not been dismissed from OCS.

Yamashita said his instructors at OCS attacked him with racial slurs, threw garbage cans at him, and lifted him up and threw him to the ground. They also forced him to wear a dirty uniform to a review board, he said. He was discharged from the school two days before graduation on grounds of ``leadership failure.''

Partly as a result of the Yamashita case, Gen. Carl Mundy, the Marine Corps commandant, in 1992 appointed a panel of officers to study the problem of high dropout rates for minorities enrolled in OCS programs. MOVE Fire Case Smolders

The city of Philadelphia was justified in bombing a radical group's row-house headquarters in 1985 but still can be sued for the subsequent fire that killed 11 people and destroyed 61 homes, a federal judge ruled Jan. 3.

US District Judge Louis Pollak ruled that Philadelphia and three former city officials can be sued for deciding to let the fire at the MOVE headquarters burn. But he said former Mayor W. Wilson Goode is immune from the lawsuit because he had no role in the decision to let the fire burn.

The lawsuit was filed by MOVE member Ramona Africa, the only adult to survive the confrontation that killed six adults and five children.

Judge Pollak agreed with a magistrate that the city had a legitimate reason to drop the bomb - to remove a rooftop bunker from which MOVE members had shot at police. But he said it was wrong to delay fighting the fire the bomb started.

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