Yesterday, July 17 2014 ,Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams released finding from a Grand Jury that investigated claims of extreme police misconduct stemming from an arrest of a student from the Mathematics, Civics and Science Charter School near the intersection of 15th Street and Girard Ave. The student and his mother alleged a female officer grabbed his scrotum and yanked on a testicle, causing it to rupture. The released report showed that did not happen but still leaves questions open.
The student was with his Basket Ball team who were taking the subway to play a game at 1901 W. Girard Ave. The had just exited a stop of the Broad Street Subway when they observed a police van. One or two of the youths shouted at the police van. The officers then testified that they stopped to see if the youths needed help or maybe witnessed a crime. That led to officer Thomas Purcell to open the drivers door of the van to better communicate with the students, as the windows are difficult to roll down. All of the students agreed that when the officer asked what was said,no one responded. That cause the police to turn their van around.
At that time the student ran and admitted he partially hid behind a parked vehicle. At the same time,at least one other student was questioned without incident. By this time, the police were questioning the student who was not cooperating and when officers tried to pat him down, he resisted. That caused the police to take him down. One of the two officers in the wagon call for an "Assist Officer" call and then helped his partner arrest the student.
The student was wearing sagging pants and long under wear. That made any search or pat down difficult. There was a female officer that responded and she tried to search him however the student pushed himself against the police car and made it next to impossible for the officer to complete a search. At that time a male officer moved in and was able to complete the search, thinking he had a gun or other contraband. The student was searched and there was nothing found.
When the cops arrested the student and got him under control he was walking fine and complained of a minor pain from being hit in the head with handcuffs. he declined to go to the hospital after repeated requests from the officer.. According to the Grand Jury Report, when the student got to the 9th District for processing, he was walking fine. he never complained of any pain in his groin area.
When his mother and head coach arrived to find out what was going on, his mother immediately insinuated that the police stop and arrest of her s on was motivated by race. She left and returned several hours later to pick up her son,who walked without a limp from the police station.
The next day at school,the student did not attend class but went to meet with the principal and board members. According to the Grand Jury report he said "I got my balls squeezed but it's okay, it's fine". They persuaded the boy and his mother to go to the hospital to get checked out which they did , 22 1/2 hours after his arrest. He complained that his testicle was sore. In reality, the student had a pre existing condition called varicocele. He had this since he was 11. He kept insisting that he was grabbed hard by the cops and that testimony , along with the doctor relying on this , caused the doctor to advise exploratory surgery. That procedure found nothing at all except his condition he had since he was 11..
The student was next paraded around the media and public in a wheelchair. The doctor told him only to "Take it easy for the next two weeks". He never advised the wheelchair and it was unnecessary. The student and his mother then started to inform the media and anyone who would listen that her son was grabbed by a white female police officer,who is alleged to have grabbed his testicles and yanked them hard.
The finding of the Grand Jury revealed that the student thought he should not have been stopped because he did nothing criminal. The Grand Jury found that there was no white female police officer on the scene and there were officers of the same race as the student. No evidence was found that the police did anything improper or illegal and the officers were cleared of any wrong doing. The student did have some pain but that was caused by his pre existing condition which is now a matter of public record. The report shows that the student and his mother were less than truthful with police, and the media.
The city dealt with his criminal charges in the same was they would deal with anyone else who was a first time offender and should not be taken to mean that by dropping certain charges,the city caved. He entered into a consent decree . His mother nor the student never filed an official complaint with the police. The Grand Jury was convened due to the incessant media coverage of the event and started by the Police Commissioner.