Police commissioner and D.A. pledge to investigate Darrin Manning’s brutality claims

Surveillance footage of incident at 15th Street and Girard Avenue on Jan. 7
Police vehicles surround the intersection of 15th Street and Girard on Tuesday, Jan. 7. A teenager has said his genitals were injured by aggressive officers during the incident. Credit: PPD

A joint investigation has been launched by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and Philadelphia Police Department into a teenager’s allegations that he was abused by a police officer last month.

“We don’t normally confirm ongoing investigations, but given the nature of this case, we felt it was important to let the public know that we have been vigorously investigating this case since it occurred,” D.A. Seth Williams said at a press conference today announcing the investigation.

D.A. Williams and Commissioner Charles Ramsey said that they are investigating the incident on the afternoon of Jan. 7  on the 1400 block of Girard Avenue, when Darrin Manning, 16, was arrested.

Manning and his mother later told media that he was doing nothing wrong when police chased him down, and that he had to be hospitalized after a female police officer ruptured his testicle while patting him down.

Manning’s family filed a complaint about the incident with the FBI’s Philadelphia office, an FBI spokesperson previously confirmed.

However, D.A. Williams and Commissioner Ramsey said that Manning and his family have not filed a complaint with the police department, which would trigger an internal affairs investigation.

Currently, police and prosecutors are in possession of no evidence and no facts related to the police brutality Manning has not alleged, Ramsey and Williams said.

“At this point we have no basis to believe that a police officer did anything wrong,” D.A. Williams said.

Neither Manning nor the two teenagers with him at the time of the incident have spoken to authorities, nor have any of the bystanders who witnessed the incident, which took place around 4 p.m. on Jan. 7.

“Lots of information is floating around out there, some of which is inaccurate,” Ramsey said, declining to go into specifics because he said he didn’t want to take the case apart in a “piecemeal” fashion.

“When allegations are made about police misconduct, we’re going to get to the bottom of it,” Ramsey said.

Ramsey said he would be happy to investigate a complaint if Manning filed one. Ramsey said he contacted Manning’s attorney to request that he speak to police, and the request was denied.

Manning’s family reportedly has said they will not talk to police unless D.A. Williams drop charges against Manning for simple assault, resisting arrest and reckless endangerment.

Manning’s next court date is March 4 at Philadelphia Family Court.

D.A. Williams said he intends to wrap up the investigation prior to that court date.

The Pennsylvania State chapter of the National Action Network has said that Rev. Al Sharpton is aware of Manning’s allegations and may come to Philadelphia to assist in addressing them.

Manning, a student at Mathematics, Civics and Sciences Charter School, has said he was on the way to a basketball game when police officers chased him and his two friends down.

Police reportedly said that Manning punched a police officer three times and ripped off his radio.

Police previously released hour-long surveillance footage of the incident from a rotating surveillance camera at 15th Street and Girard Avenue.

While the three teenagers can be seen running down the street as a police van drives after them on footage, little else of the incident is seen in the video except for the response of multiple police vehicles.

Follow Sam Newhouse on Twitter: @scnewhouse

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