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Philadelphia Grand Jury Clears Police Officers In Patdown Of Teen

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By Walt Hunter and Tim Jimenez

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia Grand Jury clears police in an incident earlier this year involving a 16-year-old boy who claimed excessive force led to a severe injury (see previous story).

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams has announced that a Grand Jury has concluded Philadelphia police officers, in his words, “acted responsibly” in a January 7th confrontation with a group of teenagers at 15th Street and Girard Avenue.

A 16-year-old, along with his mom and attorney, had claimed that he suffered a serious injury, after one officer squeezed his testicle during a brief disturbance.

However, the grand jury found that was not the case. Among the evidence considered by the grand jury, video of the teenager walking unassisted into the 9th police district shortly after the incident. The DA says that simply could not have happened if the teenager had been injured as he claimed.

The Grand Jury also based its findings on testimony by a doctor who stated there was no evidence on the young man’s body of an trauma.

“The findings of this Grand Jury are exactly why I cautioned people not to rush to judgment in this case,” Williams said in a press release.

“I owe it to the people of Philadelphia to examine all allegations of criminal activity methodically and professionally, and not let public outcry effect my office in any way. In this instance that public outcry was misplaced and inaccurate.”

First Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross says he’s glad the unwarranted cloud of suspicion has been lifted from the heads of the officers under investigation. All of those officers, who had been removed from street duty as is standard procedure during the investigation, have now been returned to full, active duty.

Finally, the attorney for the teenager told CBS 3 he disputed the grand jury findings, but would have no further comment until he could read the full grand jury report.

William Buckman, attorney representing the teenager says the grand jury report “Totally omits the testimony of witnesses who say they saw the (female officer) actively searching Darrin.”

“(The grand jury) doesn’t address the fact as to why a young black man, actually a kid, can’t run or travel with his friends from the subway to get to a (basketball) practice.”

Buckman added that it’s “troubling” that they have to respond to private information about a juvenile being released to the public. He says they will continue to analyze the report and are still considering a civil lawsuit.

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