Philadelphia Teen Sexually Assaulted During Stop and Frisk

Human Rights

A 16-year-old boy in Philadelphia was hospitalized after a stop-and-frisk encounter with police led to a brutal sexual assault by police.

Darrin Manning, a black, straight-A student and star basketball player, was walking with his coach and teammates to basketball practice when they were stopped by three white police officers. The officer's admitted reason for stopping the group was that they were wearing scarves to cover their faces--on one of the coldest evenings ever recorded in Philadelphia. 

After the encounter, Manning had to be rushed to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, where he underwent reconstructive surgery on his genitals. Despite his injuries, the teenager was still charged with aggravated assault and resisting arrest. 

An emergency townhall meeting has been announced for Tuesday January 21, where the community will convene to realize a plan for how to respond to the incident. 

"We need to pay close attention to what is happening with our kids when they are interacting with police," said Damon Jones, Pastor of Bible Way Baptist Church, to Philly in Focus. 

Philadelphia's use of stop-and-frisk doubled in 2009, although recent legal challenges have compelled the city police department to monitor the intrusiveness of such encounters. Nevertheless, the vast majority of Philadelphians apprehended through the program are still black and Latino men, mirroring the pattern in New York City, another city where police rely heavily on the program.

New NYC major Bill de Blasio ran on a platform of ending Stop and Frisk in the city, although his recent appointment of police chief Bill Bratton, the original architect of the discriminatory program, suggests that he may already be abandoning his campaign promise.

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