Testifying later before the MOVE Commission, Brooks characterized the tragedy as unique. "I don't think in the history of our nation there has ever been a situation quite like that one. And I seriously doubt that there ever will be one exactly like that one again."
Other excerpts of his testimony:
Question: Did you have a belief . . . that at some point there was going to be a violent confrontation with the MOVE organization?
Answer: I think well before . . . May of 1985 . . . I saw in my own mind a situation which we have all seen before . . . where each time you give, the opposing side moves closer. Each time you show more restraint, that restraint is used up, until a confrontation can be precipitated. I always hoped that there never would be one.
Q: Did you give any instructions to the Police Department to prepare contingency plans for that day . . . ?
A: No, I did not.
The Brooks family's long military tradition dates back to his great-grandfather, who escaped from slavery to join the Union forces in the Civil War.
A month after MOVE, Brooks resigned and returned to his native Virginia. Now 77, he has said little in the years since, and recent efforts to reach him were unsuccessful.
- Connie Langland