By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A juvenile court judge today set a trial date in the case of 16-year-old Darrin Manning, who is charged with misdemeanors stemming from a January 7th incident in which he was stopped by police and frisked.
But the straight-A student claims he is the victim. He says a Philadelphia police officer sexually assaulted him during the patdown, leaving him with injuries that could mean he’s unable to father children.
Today, dozens of people sat in the waiting room of Philadelphia Family Court to support Darrin Manning.
A student at Mathematics Civics and Sciences Charter High School, near Broad and Girard, Manning claims he was on his way to a basketball game when officers stopped and frisked him, squeezing his genitals so hard that he required emergency surgery for a ruptured testicle.
The judge set a March 7th trial date to give prosecutors time to gather evidence.
Afterward, Manning’s mother was upset that the case against her son is moving forward.
“I’m not pleased at all — I feel like the charges should have been dropped today,” said Ikea Coney. Then, with tears coming down her face, she added, “Because my son doesn’t deserve this, he’s a good child.”
Manning’s attorney, Lewis Small, refuses to let his client speak to police and is calling for a federal investigation.
“We want the charges dropped, and we want the officers who did this appropriately punished,” he said.
Small claims that Manning’s arrest and patdown violates civil rights law as well as a 2011 settlement agreement between the City of Philadelphia and a group of plaintiffs who claimed the Philadelphia Police Department’s “stop and frisk” practices violate the US and Pennsylvania constitutions.
Read the Settlement Agreement (.pdf format)
“They are not allowed to frisk an individual unless they have reasonable suspicion that he is armed and dangerous,” Small says, “and this is certainly not the case here.”
Both the police and Lewis have said there are other witnesses to the incident, but none have been identified at this point.
Police commissioner Charles Ramsey announced last Friday that the department was investigating the incident. During that press conference he showed a surveillance video that captured some of the incident (see related story).
Manning’s attorney has not yet filed a formal complaint with the police department’s internal affairs unit in connection with the incident, citing the pending criminal charges against his client as the reason for the holdup.
Ramsey says facts are unclear at this point and has requested a meeting with Manning and his attorney.