1.15.14: Philadelphia – (Crime/Politics): An emergency town hall meeting allowing communities to address the case of a 16 year-old Philadelphia boy who had to have emergency surgery on his genitals after being stopped-and-frisked by a group of white police officers has been announced for Tuesday, January 21st at 7:30pm at Catalyst for Change Ministries, 3727 Baring St.
Convened by Techbook Online, a Philly-based news organization currently running a campaign to improve media coverage and public perceptions of African-American men and boys, the evening gathering sparked from outrage is intended to address the growing pattern of police misconduct, racial profiling and brutality by the hands of law enforcement officers in the nation’s fifth largest city and beyond.
“We need to pay close attention to what is happening with our kids when they are interacting with police,” warns Reverend Damon Jones, Pastor, Bible Way Baptist Church. A former chaplain at the only secure youth detention facility in Philadelphia, Jones, who said he had a conversation with Darrin Manning soon after the controversial encounter took place at Broad & Girard, says he has experience in identifying troubled youth, and Manning isn’t one of them; adding the star basketball player is a straight A student who went to school the day after the surgery to complete a test, because “that’s what straight-A students do.”
On one of the coldest days on record in the city of brotherly love, Manning, his coach and teammates – with their faces covered with scarves – exited the Girard Ave subway station attempting to go to the Berean Institute at 19th & Girard for basketball practice. Veronica Joyner, Principal/Founder, Mathematics, Civics and Charter School – and the woman who admittedly gave the young men the scarves to keep warm – notes that the team Manning and the boys play for ranks 16th in the nation, “the only team with that high of a rank without a gym,” she points out; adding the “students are forced to take a train, a trolley and walk several blocks to practice.”
Joyner says within 15 minutes of sending the boys out into the cold, bundled up, she received a call that one of her students was being arrested. Police said they felt justified to stop them because their faces were covered.
Joyner confirmed that all the officers involved were white. She feels strongly that “he was sexually abused and sexually assaulted.” Doctors are paying close attention to Manning, a budding law student, as this injury may leave him unable to bear children. Barely able to speak the graphic details, Joyner informs the public that Manning had to have the vein that enables sperm to travel to the penis reconstructed.
“She squeezed it so hard he heard something pop,” recounts Joyner, who endorses Jones’ description of Manning, stating: “He’s an honor roll student, excellent behavior, no discipline problems; just a great kid.”
Despite being the one to who ended up in Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Manning is facing charges of aggravated assault and resisting arrest.
Activist Asa Khalif, Founder, Racial Unity USA, is a black father heartbroken by this story. A confirmed speaker for next week’s town hall, Khalif is giving strong thoughts to moving out of the country in order to raise his son. Talking exclusively to Techbook Online, Khalif remarks that he has a disdain for white privilege, adding: “I resent white privilege when it concerns their children, because they don’t have to have this talk about police with their sons. We have gotten to the point in society now where we as black men have to put our difference aside and start stepping up to protect our families. The hatred toward us – to our children – is so great that it out weights our differences.”
Jones, who notes this is typical of what happens to African-Americans when they have conflict with police, says he would like to “see this kid exonerated and at the very least, a reprimand for these officers; at the most, some kind of charges filed.”
Speaking truth to power, Joyner firmly states: “animals have laws to protect them, but our black boys have nothing to protect them!”
Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™
About Christopher “Flood the Drummer®” Norris
A Philly Drummer playing a Global Beat, Christopher A. Norris is an award-winning journalist, online content producer and professional drummer endorsed by TRX Cymbals. An American businessman, Norris currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Techbook Online Corporation, overseeing a strategic initiative of mobilizing local, regional, national and global communities by encouraging the production, safeguarding and dissemination of diversified contents in the media and global information networks. Norris, known on stage as Flood the Drummer®, has launched a campaign to raise awareness regarding the health benefits of drumming.
About Techbook Online Corporation®:
Reaching up to 100 million readers a month across platforms, Techbook Online Corporation (TBO Inc) publishes socially relevant content that informs, engages, educates, and empowers communities. For more information visit www.techbookonline.com.
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