Attorney repeats call for teen's charges to be dropped

Posted: February 21, 2014

DARRIN MANNING looked uncomfortable.

The 16-year-old was dressed for school - shirt and tie, dress pants, dark blazer - but instead of sitting in geometry class yesterday, he was in a high-rise building downtown, getting eyeballed by a pack of reporters and photographers in a crowded conference room.

He sat quietly, his eyes downcast, while his lawyer, Lewis Small, again called for District Attorney Seth Williams to drop the assault charges that the teen faces from his controversial encounter with Philadelphia police.

"Darren Manning has suffered enough," Small said. "It's time for the district attorney to withdraw the charges in this case."

Small handed out medical records showing that doctors at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia removed a blood clot from Manning's left testicle Jan. 8, the day after the teen claimed that a female cop had grabbed his genital area while patting him down in North Philly.

Manning and a handful of teammates from Mathematics, Civics and Sciences Charter School's basketball team were on their way to a game that day when they were stopped by police at 15th Street and Girard Avenue.

Manning's family initially told the Daily News last month that the testicle had been ruptured. Ikea Coney, Manning's mother, said during the news conference that doctors thought the testicle could have been ruptured.

The teen also had a pre-existing problem, unrelated to the injury, with veins in his testicles, Coney said.

Paula Peebles, chairwoman of the Pennsylvania chapter of the National Action Network, said she filed a complaint with the Department of Justice over the incident, which she described as "a Philly-style stop-and-frisk."

Small bristled when a reporter asked if he was planning to file a civil lawsuit on Manning's behalf.

The lawyer again refused to allow Manning to be interviewed by Internal Affairs investigators who are probing the case, but said the teen and his teammates are cooperating with the District Attorney's Office, which has reportedly launched a grand-jury investigation into the incident.

On Twitter: @dgambacorta

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