Cops cleared in teen's alleged testicle injury

Posted: July 18, 2014

CLAIMS THAT an officer injured a 16-year-old boy's testicle during a January stop-and-frisk are unfounded and a surgery the boy underwent the following day on his scrotum was merely "exploratory," according to a grand jury report released yesterday by the District Attorney's Office.

However, that same grand jury also found that the boy, Darrin Manning, had committed no crime and his belief that he shouldn't have been stopped in the first place was "understandable."

On Jan. 7, Manning and several of his teammates from the Mathematics, Civics and Sciences Charter School of Philadelphia were on their way to a game when one of them gestured toward a police van that was parked on Girard Avenue near Broad Street in North Philadelphia, according to the report.

The officer in the van was unable to understand what the boy said so he pulled his van around and five of the boys, including Manning, took off running, the report said.

However, Manning soon stopped and was approached by an officer. The report claims Manning was "combative" and pushed the officer in the chest, a claim Manning's lawyer, Lewis Small, adamantly denies.

"He was holding a phone in one hand and a gym bag in the other," Lewis said. "How is he going to push him? With his penis?"

District Attorney Seth Williams, who announced the grand-jury findings at a press conference yesterday, said Manning struggled with officers for almost four minutes before they were able to place him into custody.

"These police officers demonstrated, I believe, great restraint in that they never used the baton, they never used the asp [expandable baton] . . . and there was no punching," he said.

According to the report, Manning was preliminarily searched by a female officer as two male officers restrained him, but she was unable to reach his genitals because his pants were too baggy. Two subsequent searches were conducted by a male officer. Nothing was found.

Manning and his mother initially told reporters that his testicle had been ruptured during the search by the female officer, but they later recanted and said only a blood clot was found.

According to testimony a doctor gave to the grand jury, the surgery that was performed on Manning's scrotum the day after the encounter was merely "exploratory" and there was no evidence of trauma.

Williams said he had received many concerned phone calls from community members regarding the case. He said had Manning not resisted officers, none of this would have happened.

Lewis, who plans to file a civil suit, said the fact that young, black men who have done nothing wrong run from the police doesn't bode well for the police.

"Why should they run if they weren't afraid of being hassled by the police?" he asked. "Why don't whites run in Lower Merion? Because they're not hassled."

Veronica Joyner, chief administrative officer, at Manning's school, on Broad Street near Buttonwood, called him a "model student" and said an incident like the one he was involved in can "reinforce what the kids fear."

On Twitter: @FarFarrAway



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