Darrin Manning, 16, was one of a group of black teens who was on his way to play basketball when one of the group mouthed off at a nearby cop. The teens ran. The cop pursued. He managed to snag Manning, then called for backup.
The police tell a very different story. I believe the police. My explanation is below the jump.
Note that our source article openly, but selectively, profiles the races of those involved...
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Police records state that Manning, who is black, was stopped by Officer Thomas Purcell, who is white, after the 11-year veteran observed a group of males covering their faces with ski masks and running. The students say there were no ski masks, just the scarves given to them by Joyner, the founder of Mathematics, Civics and Sciences Charter School.
The report goes on to say that Manning began fighting with the officer, striking him three times and ripping off his radio. He was still fighting, the police report says, when the officer called for assistance. "No injuries sustained to police," the report states.
Manning says he was roughed up, placed in handcuffs that the officer hit him with and that during a pat-down, a female officer pulled his genitals so hard one of his testicles ruptured.
"She patted me down and then she touched my butt and then my private parts," he said. "And then she grabbed and squeezed and pulled my private parts and I felt something pop."
Police say Manning didn't complain of any pain while he was in custody, charged with assaulting an officer, resisting arrest and reckless endangerment. But Manning underwent emergency surgery the next day at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. His mother, Ikea Coney, said doctors told her that her son's injury may prevent him from fathering children.
Coney believes her son's story, but she says she also knows kids can exaggerate when they're afraid of getting into trouble, so she went back to the street to ask people what they saw. Witnesses corroborated her son's account. And when I canvassed the street this week, many did the same with me.
One woman who said she watched some of the confrontation, but who feared retaliation if I used her name, said the incident caught her attention because it seemed excessive.
"There were all these cops and cops cars, and one kid," she said.
Others wondered if the cops would have reacted the same way if they weren't a large group of black kids walking together.
When Dan Jackson, one of Manning's basketball coaches, went to the station to check on him, he said he asked cops: "If this was St. Joe's Prep, would the same measures have been taken that you took on my boys?
"They didn't answer," he said.
Jackson and Joyner said Manning is a straight-A model student who hasn't had a single discipline problem at the school. They worry that the incident may affect his scholarship and college options.
According to records from Internal Affairs, Officer Purcell has had two citizen complaints lodged against him for false arrests, one in 2008 and another in 2009. He was cleared in both cases.
"I blame myself," Coney cried. "I taught my son to respect cops, not to fear them. Maybe if he was afraid, he would have run like the other boys and he would have been OK."
At the school a few days after the incident, Manning was in a wheelchair and still recovering from his injuries. Police spokesman Lt. John Stanford said that if Internal Affairs finds the officers acted improperly, they will be disciplined.
"I think we have proven we will not tolerate that kind of behavior," he said. "We are not looking to make a divide between police and the community."
Neither is the school. Joyner said she's taken great pains to teach students that police officers are not their enemy. Each year, students pay homage to officers with a Philadelphia Police Officers Appreciation Day. Despite the incident that has rocked the school, she says they still plan to honor officers this year.
"There is clearly some damage that needs to be repaired," she said. "But there are good and bad in every area, in every race. The police department is no exception."
• Pattern behavior of groups of young black males is sufficient reason for any responsible person to keep a close eye on those that fit the description depicted in the above article. For a policeman not to have 'stared them down' would have been gross negligence on the part of the officer in that he had a responsibility to to let the members of the group know they were being watched and would be held accountable for their actions.
• One group member responded to the responsible officer by mouthing off. This black kid apparently flipped him off as the story mentions a 'gesture.' Such a blatant disrespect of authority commands response. I would never do such a thing. Would you?
• The student who was allegedly assaulted by the female cop tells a story much different from the white male policeman. The teen says he didn't run because he did nothing wrong. The police report suggests the teen did run, then decided to confront the cop physically. The police say the teen punched the white male cop three times and apparently slapped his radio out of his hand. I believe the police for this reason: It is highly unlikely that a cop would call for backup were the teen behaving himself.
• The article portrays the teen as an ideal, angelic student. The fact that he physically encountered a policemen sheds doubt on the validity of his stellar academic record. That is, if he's dumb enough to punch a police officer, he probably didn't earn the high marks he received at school.
• See if you can detect a case for disparate impact in the following sentence: "They worry that the incident may affect his scholarship and college options."
• One of the teen's coaches asked the police, "If this was St. Joe's Prep, would the same measures have been taken that you took on my boys?" St. Joe's Prep, I assume, is an uppity white school. My best guess would be to answer, 'No, they would be treated differently. Not because they are white, but because they don't intimidate the police and are intelligent enough not to punch a cop three times and slap away his radio.'
• The fact that the teen got physical with the cop blows away the angelic profile. It appears the media is intentionally decorating him with a squeaky clean image in the same manner that Trayvon Martin and Emmett Till were misrepresented.
• Note the article doesn't mind racially profiling the teens and the male policeman, but fails to note the race of the central character: the female cop who allegedly caused the injury. Why would the writer profile this officer's gender but not her race? I suspect she is black or Hispanic.
My summation is a group of black thugs with limited intellectual capacity intimidated a policeman and, therefore, obligating him to investigate. The article presents an overtly biased apologist's view of the teens. The female police officer may or may not have actually injured the teen; even medical records can be exaggerated if the attending medics were racially biased in favor of the alleged injured party. As any male can attest, the fact that the teen showed no signs of injury at the time of the assault suggests he is lying.
However, if the cop did, indeed, cause the injury, she should be held accountable.
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