Controversial Police Patdown Of Teen Opens Old Wounds Surrounding Stop And Frisk Policy
By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The controversial pat down of a 16-year-old boy who claims a female cop manhandled his private parts is irritating old wounds surrounding Philadelphia’s stop and frisk policy.
More than 100 people attended a town hall at Catalyst for Change Church in West Philadelphia Friday night to support Darrin Manning, 16. The straight-A student is a sophomore at Mathematics Civics and Sciences Charter School and claims he suffered a ruptured testicle during a January 7th stop and frisk near Broad Street and Girard Avenue.
More than a dozen people stood up and the meeting, telling their personal stories of being wrongfully stopped by police and expressing their outrage over what happened to young Manning, who attended the meeting with family.
“I have a hard time walking down the street and seeing a cop car and not feeling scared,” says Alex Peay, who is the founder of Rising Sons, a non-profit that trains young Black men to be leaders in their community. Peay says he’s been wrongfully stopped by cops twice and put in handcuffs; he says Manning’s case brought the pain back to the forefront.
“The fact that he’s a young black man, the fact that it was in the neighborhood where I live in–all this stuff is the reason why it really bothers me,” he says, “and to be put in handcuffs…in front of everyone, it really takes your mind to another place.”
According to a report by the ACLU of Pennsylvania, of the 215,000 stops and frisks in 2012, 45 percent were conducted without legal justification. By race, 76 percent of the stops were of African Americans and Latinos. Click here for the report:
“Darrin Manning’s story resonates with people because we can all say– it could have been my son, it could have been my brother, it could have been me,” says Christopher Norris who runs TechBookOnline. He helped organized the town hall and says a movement to end stop and frisk in Philadelphia is growing, with the Manning case adding fuel to the fire.
“Other than jobs and schools, stop and frisk is one of the most important issues to Americans,” says Norris, “people are fed up, people want solutions and they want to do something, but we know solutions don’t come overnight.”
Earlier this week, a family court judge set a March 7th trial date for Manning, who has been charged with misdemeanors stemming from the January 7th incident. At this point, the internal affairs investigation into what happened during the stop has been slowed by the pending charges because Manning’s attorney has refused to allow the boy to file a formal report until the case is resolved.