The Philadelphia police department was investigating claims that a 16-year-old boy's testicle was ruptured by an officer during a pat-down search, but the city's police commissioner said the investigation is being hampered because the youth's attorney won't let investigators interview him.
"We have not been able to interview the young man or his mother," Commissioner Charles Ramsey said Friday. "Clearly we need to talk to him to find out what happened."
Defense attorney Lewis Small said he's not going to let his client, Darrin Manning, give police a statement while resisting arrest, reckless endangerment and simple assault charges are pending against his client for the Jan. 7 incident.
"It's horrible. It's a sexual assault as far as I'm concerned," Small said.
Manning is a straight-A student at the city's Mathematics, Civics and Sciences Charter School who has no criminal history, according to Victoria Joyner, the school's chief executive.
Precisely what happened, and why, isn't clear even after Ramsey let reporters view surveillance video of the incident taken from a street camera whose point of view changes every 10 seconds.
Manning and several teammates were on a subway, on their way to play in a school basketball game, while they were wearing hats and scarves Joyner provided because the temperature was in single digits that day.
As the students exited the train, police said one student caught the attention of officers - though police haven't specified why or how - and the youths scattered as police approached. Manning was frisked and claims he was injured when a female officer roughly grabbed his crotch.
Small, the defense attorney, said Manning had emergency surgery on his testicle the next day and may be sterile as a result of the injury.
Manning will give police a statement about what happened as soon as the charges - which Small called outrageous - are dropped.
"I'm not going to allow my client to sit down and give a written statement," Small said. "That's in effect malpractice by any attorney while criminal charges are outstanding."
One officer visible in the video has been placed on desk duty, though Ramsey said he could not say whether that is the same officer who allegedly injured Manning.
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