Pennsylvania National Action Network Statement on Grand Jury Report on Darrin Manning Investigation

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Pennsylvania State Chapter National Action Network releases statement on grand report on Darrin Manning investigation.

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Pennsylvania National Action Network Statement on Grand Jury Report on Darrin Manning Investigation

  1. 1. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Paula Peebles Pennsylvania State Chapter National Action Network (215) 765-6181 thepananoffice@yahoo.com STATEMENT FROM PENNSYLVANIA NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK ON GRAND JURY REPORT OF DARRIN MANNING INVESTIGATION Philadelphia, PA – July 18, 2014 – The report of the Grand Jury of Philadelphia Police officers’ investigatory stop of Darrin Manning has been released. To no one’s surprise the grand jury concluded “the police acted responsibly and that no criminal act was committed by any members of the police department on that day.” “The real news would have been if the grand jury had not exonerated the police officers,” said Matthew Smith Sr., president of the Pennsylvania State Chapter National Action Network (PA NAN). “For the past 40 years, the names of the victims and police officers have changed, but the conclusion is always the same – no criminal act was committed.” “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.” Smith continued: “For PA NAN, the issue is bigger than this one case. The issue is police misconduct. District Attorney Seth Williams reportedly said ‘it could have gone terribly wrong and thankfully it didn’t’. What does the DA mean by that statement? Is he suggesting Darrin Manning could have ended up like Albert Pernell Jr. or Phillip Holland?” “The black community knows the police do not stop anyone out of concern for their well- being. That’s not the relationship the black community has with the Philadelphia Police Department. That’s why PA NAN will continue to call for the U.S. Department of Justice to appoint a master to oversee the Philadelphia Police Department.”
  2. 2. PA NAN Chair Paula Peebles added: “It’s outrageous that District Attorney Seth Williams would smear Darrin Manning’s mother by saying his distrust of police officers is ‘based on the way he was raised.’ No, Darrin’s fear is well-grounded. The Philadelphia Police Department is being monitored by a federal district court judge because of its pattern or practice of conducting investigative detentions without reasonable suspicion.” Peebles continued: “Just last week, the Department of Justice and the Police Advisory Commission held a public forum on police-involved shootings and the excessive use of force in Philadelphia. If the District Attorney had bothered to show up, he would have heard first-hand why black Philadelphians distrust the police.” About Pennsylvania State Chapter National Action Network: The Pennsylvania State Chapter National Action Network is a nonprofit organization incorporated for the purpose of advocating for equal education opportunities and equal justice under the law; promoting policies and initiatives to reduce gun violence, racial profiling, police brutality, and “stop and frisk” policing; and fostering civic engagement by hosting community forums, rallies and other nonpartisan events. For more information, visit www.pastatenan.org. About National Action Network: The National Action Network is the nation’s leading civil rights and human rights organization, with chapters throughout the United States. Founded in 1991 by Reverend Al Sharpton, NAN works within the spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to promote a modern civil rights agenda that includes the fight for one standard of justice, decency and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, nationality or gender. For more information, visit www.nationalactionnetwork.net. ###

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