Last week, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams released the findings of the grand jury investigating the Darrin Manning case. To no one’s surprise, the grand jury “concluded that the police acted responsibly and that no criminal act was committed by any members of the police department on that day.”
To hear the cops tell it, the Jan. 7, 2014 incident was a Norman Rockwell moment.
You see, Officer Thomas Purcell wanted to stop Darrin and his teammates out of concern they were trying to get this attention:
Unsure whether the students needed help or were trying to communicate with the police, he opened his door and asked the students what they said. Officer Purcell further testified that he did not hear any response from the students; the students, including Student #1, agreed that they did not respond to the officer.
At 1:55:22 p.m., Officer Purcell activated the police lights on the van in order to perform a U-turn on the busy street. He also testified that he was performing a U-turn to further investigate whether the students were victims of or witnesses to a crime, hence their trying to get the officers’ attention.
Lewis S. Small, Darrin’s attorney, wrote in an email message:
Reminds you of when the police climbed over OJ’s wall at his compound without a warrant because “they were concerned about his safety.”
Matthew Smith Sr., president of the Pennsylvania State Chapter National Action Network, dismissed Officer Purcell’s testimony as inconsistent with police-community relations in Philadelphia. Smith said in a statement:
It strains credulity to suggest Officer Thomas Purcell stopped in the middle of Girard Avenue out of concern the teenagers were trying to get his attention. When they ran that should have been a clue they didn’t want to talk with him. And that should have been the end of the story. But it wasn’t. Darrin Manning stopped because he knew he had done nothing wrong. Everything that followed flowed from an illegal investigatory stop.
The grand jury found the evidence doesn’t support Darrin’s claim that a white female officer grabbed and squeezed his testicle. Officer Cucinotta testified she was “physically unable to reach his genital area.”
My experience is that a man’s genital area is in easy reach no matter what he’s wearing.
Attorney Small asked:
The real question is why did they omit Darrin’s teammates’ testimony in their finding that he heard Darrin screaming that the police officer was squeezing his balls, and yet they quote him as to the resisting arrest? He corroborates Darrin’s version of the events.
It ain’t over.