On Darrin Manning, and Reproductive Justice for Young Men of Color

February 20, 2014

When 16-year-old Darrin Manning left basketball practice, he surely did not imagine that the trip home would jeopardize his reproductive future.

Manning, an honors student in Philadelphia, was walking with teammates and coaches on January 7, when the boys were stopped by local police. In the midst of the viciously cold polar vortex, the boys had covered their faces with scarves. But area police interpreted their winter readiness as suspicious activity. During two patdowns, a female officer yanked Manning’s scrotum so vigorously that the teenager allegedly “heard something pop” and later underwent emergency surgery for a ruptured testicle. While the extent of Manning’s injuries isn’t clear, his fertility may be affected. Despite what seems to be a clear use of excessive force from the officer, Manning was charged with resisting arrest, and it took the Philadelphia district attorney’s office a month to confirm that it was investigating the incident.


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