Friday marked the two-month anniversary of a Philly-style stop-and-frisk that made national and international headlines. A white female police officer conducted an illegal pat down of Darrin Manning during the course of which she grabbed his testicles. Less than 24 hours later, Darrin underwent emergency surgery at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Friday also marked the date of Darrin’s appearance in Juvenile Court to stand trial on trumped-up charges stemming from the illegal stop and frisk.
To no one’s surprise, the District Attorney’s office requested a continuance because they are “conducting additional investigation into the underlying matter and the actions of the police during the arrest of young Mr. Manning.”
Judge Amanda Cooperman granted the joint request for a continuance. A status hearing will be held on April 28, 2014. Darrin’s presence is not required. Instead, his attorney, Lewis Small, and an Assistant DA will tell Judge Cooperman “where we go from here.”
Two months later, where are we? We still don’t know the name of the female officer who sexually assaulted Darrin. The blue code of silence has silenced Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. But it’s only a matter of time before he has to say her name.
We still don’t know why Officer Thomas stopped Darrin. The 2011 consent decree the City of Philadelphia entered into with the ACLU provides:
Stops and frisks shall not be permissible, without limitation, where the officer has only anonymous information of criminal conduct, or because the person is only “loitering” or engaged in “furtive movements,” or is acting “suspiciously,” or for the purpose of “investigation of person,” or on the basis of non-articulated “flash information,” or only because the person is in a “high crime” or “high drug” area.
In plain English, police officers are permitted to stop, question, and frisk individuals who are suspected of committing, having committed or about to commit a crime.
In calling on District Attorney Seth Williams to drop the charges against his client, Attorney Small said:
None of those conditions were met. There were no radio calls indicating any crimes being committed. Boys running on a very cold afternoon, without more, does not meet the [reasonable suspicion] condition, particularly when Darrin had stopped running and walked over to the police van.
With no allegation that Darrin was engaged in any criminal activity, the 16-year-old honor student is guilty of being arrested.