A Police sexual assault became a harsh reality for Darrin Manning, a young, black, 16-year-old Philadelphia school student. Manning literally got his scrotum busted when he was sexually assaulted by a female police officer in an act of brutality.
Manning, a straight-A student at the Math, Civics and Sciences Charter School, located at 447 N Broad Street in Philadelphia, PA, has never had any trouble with the law or with the school. According to the principal, he’s a model-student. And according to his mother, he is “a good boy.” But being a good boy didn’t stop a female police officer from allegedly sexually assaulting the teen by squeezing and rupturing one of Manning’s testicles.
The January 7th police sexual assault incident made national headlines when an unidentified female police officer squeezed Darrin’s butt and grabbed his testicles during a pat-down. The force used by the officer was so intense that it ruptured one of the teen’s testicles, causing him to undergo emergency surgery at Children’s Hospital the following day. Manning’s mother, Ikea Coney, stated that doctors told her that her son’s injury may impede his ability to father children and could render him sterile.
According to reports, on January 7, 2014, Darrin Manning and several of his friends took the subway to Broad and Girard after leaving school. Their intent was to participate in an after school basketball practice at the Berean Institute at 19th Girard. However, as Manning, one of the star basketball players, walked with his coach and teammates they were approached by police officers. Why? Because the students’ were wearing scarves that covered their mouths.
The students were stopped by police for wearing scarves and hats which partially covered their faces. The outerwear was given to the students by their principal, Veronica Joyner, to keep their faces warm. Principal Joyner provided the items because many of her students aren’t properly attired in cold weather, and this was one of the most frigid days of the year. In a recent statement, Principal Joyner said, “students are forced to take a train, a trolley and walk several blocks to practice.” However, because their faces were covered with the scarves to keep warm, the 22nd District police officers indicated that “they felt justified in their actions because their faces were covered!” continued Joyner. “Now I never knew covering your face to keep warm in zero or below weather was a crime, but I guess to Philadelphia Police Officers, it was.”
Police reports state that Officer Thomas Purcell noticed the black youths with covered mouths as they walked along Girard Avenue and approached them. Manning admitted that one of his teammates possibly said something smart or inappropriate to Officer Purcell, who, according to Manning, was “staring them down.” Manning further stated that as Officer Purcell approached, he and his friends began running away from the officer. Manning said that he then stopped and said, “I didn’t do anything wrong.”
The police report states that Darrin Manning struck Officer Purcell three times and ripped off his radio. Surveillance video shows Manning and the officer tussling, but Manning denies the allegations that he initiated the altercation.
According to the teen, he was knocked around, and then placed in handcuffs. Manning further alleges that the female officer who was with Officer Purcell pulled his genitals so hard during a pat-down that one of his testicles ruptured.
At this time it is unclear if the police sexual assault was shown on video. However, surveillance video taken from a street camera shows bits and pieces of the incident, but due to shifting camera angles, it’s difficult to see exactly what happened and how the incident started. However, one portion of the video shows young Manning walking around the side of the police wagon, and a police officer pushing him forcefully against the vehicle. Shortly thereafter, Manning can be seen on the ground in what appears to be struggling with officers.
In his interview with Fox 29, Manning said, “I didn’t deserve to be wrongly stopped. They didn’t tell me what I did.” He said he was assaulted by one of the officers after he was handcuffed. He further stated that: “She patted me down again, and then I felt her reach, and she grabbed my butt. And then she grabbed and squeezed again and pulled down. And that’s when I heard something pop, like I felt it pop.” The incident left Manning in a wheelchair for days while he recovered.
Manning spent eight hours in jail after the alleged assault, but according to police, he never reported any injuries. Although the teen may not have made mention of his physical trauma to the police, they wasted no time in charging young Manning with assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest and reckless endangerment.
Lewis Small, Esq., Manning’s attorney, reiterated his client’s story, and added that: “It’s horrible. It’s sexual assault, as far as I’m concerned.”
A woman who witnessed the confrontation, but did not want to be identified, said the incident caught her attention because it seemed excessive. “There were all these cops and cops cars, and one kid,” she said.
According to Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey, the Philadelphia police is launching an internal investigation regarding the allegations brought forth by Darrin Manning. And according to him, arrests will made pending further investigation.
Commissioner Ramsey also stated that the police department is taking the incident “very seriously,” in order to bring about justice. And though that may be true, it’s amazing that everyone knows the name of Darrin Manning. A 16-year-old, A-student, who is a role model for others. Who has no prior arrest record or disciplinary slips in his school file. Now, everyone knows the name of the tall young man who was just going to play some B-ball and wound up in jail and then in the hospital. How is it everyone knows Darrin Manning, but no one knows the name of the female police officer who put him there?
Only getting around in a wheelchair, doctors are still paying close attention to Darrin Manning, as this injury may leave him unable to bear children, because her excessive squeezing dislocated his vein that enables sperm to travel to the penis and that had to be reconstructed. In addition to all of what he had to endure, and still suffering with, he is faced with charges of aggravated assault and resisting arrest.
Any type of assault or brutality can be devastating to the victim, but being sexually assaulted by the police who are sworn to protect and serve really goes against the grain.
Editorial by: DeBorah Heggs-Alston