By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The 16-year-old Philadelphia boy who claims he was the victim of a violent police patdown in January (see related story) appeared today at a press conference along with his family, supporters from his school, and his attorney in an attempt to clear up growing confusion over what exactly happened that day.
“It’s time for the district attorney to withdraw charges in this case,” said Lewis Small, attorney for Darrin Manning, during today’s press conference. “It’s just time to end the injustice.”
Manning, a sophomore at Mathematics, Civics, and Sciences Charter School, is facing aggravated assault, simple assault, and other charges in connection with a January 7th stop and frisk near 15th Street and Girard Avenue, about a block from the school.
The boy’s mother, Ikea Coney, initially claimed Manning was manhandled by female cop during the encounter and had to undergo emergency surgery on January 8th for a ruptured testicle.
However, medical records released by Small during the press conference revealed that surgery was performed because physicians believed Manning may have ruptured a testicle, but the procedure resulted only in a blood clot being removed.
“I was told at the hospital this is what could be wrong with your son, this is why we are going in to do the operation,” Coney said today. “Once that information went out there, yes, it did go viral.”
Coney claims her son must get his sperm count checked every three months to determine whether he will ultimately be able to father children. She admits he had a pre-existing condition involving a vein in his testicle that required that he be checked once a year, but says the aftermath of the patdown now requires more frequent checks by doctors.
“Before any of this happened, my son was living a normal life,” said Coney. “Now his life is not normal.”
Small, the attorney, says that despite the less severe diagnosis, the stop and frisk of his client was unlawful.
“It would take violent action to cause the trauma that necessitates emergency surgery,” he said.
For weeks, Small refused to allow his client to speak with police in the department’s Internal Affairs unit about the January 7th incident, despite multiple request by police and commissioner Charles Ramsey (see related story).
Police claimed none of the witnesses, including Manning’s basketball teammates, would come forward about the incident.
Earlier this month, DA Seth Williams hinted that a grand jury investigation was underway. Sources confirmed that a grand jury is currently investigating Manning’s claims.
Small says both Manning and the boy’s basketball teammates are now cooperating with the DA’s investigation. The DA’s office declined to comment on the investigation.
Small says he and the local chapter of National Action Network have also asked for federal authorities to get involved.