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Video: Judge Acquits Philly Cop Who Hit Woman at Parade

February 26, 2013  | 

VIDEO: Philly Officer Punches Woman

A Municipal Court judge acquitted a former Philadelphia Police officer of simple assault for striking a woman at last year's Puerto Rican Parade.

Judge Patrick F. Dugan said he was troubled by former Lt. Jonathan Josey's conduct in a video clip showing him punching Aida Guzman from behind and knocking her down during the Sept. 30 event.

Dugan cited Josey's testimony that the 19-year decorated police veteran was trying to swipe a beer bottle from Gizman's hand and accidentally hit her, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. A defense expert on police procedure had approved of Josey's conduct.

"This is not a social media contest, this is not trial by video," Judge Dugan said.

In October, Commissioner Charles Ramsey called the incident "troubling" and fired Josey over the objections of the Fraternal Order of Police.

Comments (11)

Displaying 1 - 11 of 11

Chris @ 2/26/2013 7:03 PM

"This is not a social media contest, this is not trial by video," Judge Dugan said. Got to respect this judge, he is absolutely right. Commissioner Ramsey should step down. His decision to immediately fire the officer was wrong. He violated Jose'y due process of law and bypassed departmental and civil service procedures. He was obviously influence by social media and political pressure. Ramsey is a puppet.

Former Chief @ 2/26/2013 7:04 PM

The chief should have put the officer on leave until the, after the FOP has their lawyer file a suit, he'll probably get reinstated, and probably rightfully so.

pennywise @ 2/26/2013 9:12 PM

@Chris....Did you take a moment to think about why the Comish didn't afford him his due process? Do you really think he didnt realize that firing him right away would be unlawful? My guess is that he was covering his a#! But also leaving a loophole open so Josey could get his job back. I applaud the judges decision. Its easy for someone to judge without understanding what its like to have boots on the street in that area at that event.

Lenny @ 2/26/2013 10:54 PM

Just another cop who lied on the stand. "Trying to swipe a beer bottle and accidentally hit her", that is laughable. His wife and kids must be very proud. While it may be true that it's easy to judge without having boots on the ground, why is the only solution you cops ever have is violence and then lying to cover it up?

PS I doubt and certainly hope this decision gets tossed on appeal, no matter how many paid "experts" are brought in.

Chris @ 2/27/2013 4:19 AM

Every Police involved Use of Force that makes it to "the news" is highly and often wrongly scrutinized by the media and the public. Use a baton to effect an arrest and the caption most often reads" Police beat unarmed suspect with baton" Really? First off when why would an officer ever use a baton against and armed suspect? Case law states that force has to reasonable and is based on what the officer believes at the time, even if that info proves at a later time to be false. So hypothetically in this incident, the officer believes that the female has committed an offense, he approached her for the purpose to make an arrest. She does not appear to be compliant to the arrest, in fact she appears to attempt to evade the officer. The appears to be a large possibly disorderly crowd. The fact that an LT is even on the street making arrest proves that the scene is hectic. In such circumstances, it is important for the officer to make an arrest as quick as possible. Maybe he did not feel like following the female into a hostile crowd to arrest her and expose himself to danger.

Lou T @ 2/27/2013 4:39 AM

Taking the crowd and situation into consideration I can see highened pressure on the LT. and Officers involved. However, if not wanting to follow the female into the crowd to avoid incitement/dangerous situations for themselves is the reasoning this was NOT the way to avoid incidement. There just was plain no reason for this hard hand approach, and frankly the "swipe the beer" is damning in it's laughability. If he had to come up with that one after that move he knew he was wrong.

Lorenzo @ 2/27/2013 5:55 AM

I've watched this a few times already. I'm aware I don't have all the facts diclosed in court, but I'm certain that officer didn't even know this woman was behind him. The start of the video shows someone off screen, whose arm is visible tossing the water. For whatever reason the woman turned around at the same time that the officer turned around. What he saw was someone turn quickly after he was doused with a liquid. No thinking person could mistake what he did with "swatting a beer from her hand."

Ryan @ 2/27/2013 6:18 AM

Lenny, I bet you have never once posted a positive comment on any video that you have seen involving police. If you wish to make your final decision based on videos, you are withholding yourself from intelligence. It's amazing how people watch COPS on television and agree that the suspect deserved it, yet after watching videos posted on YouTube that are edited, the cop is the bad guy. Why don't you do a ride along Lenny with your local police department? I bet you won't.

Andrew @ 2/27/2013 7:03 AM

I've been cop for 12 years. Anyone who believes the story that he was just trying to grab the beer out of the woman's hands is either an idiot, or is drinking the kool ade. Stuff like this is precisely why the public distrusts us. No one hates crooked cops more than honest cops. If you're a cop and you support this thug, that says volumes about you.

Rick @ 2/27/2013 9:01 AM

Lenny, You say "why is the only solution you cops ever have is violence" Well, street cops use "violence in LESS than 1% of the contacts they have with people. Go ride a 10 or 12 hours shift with an Officer and you'll probably be very disappointed in the lack of violence you see, but the Officer won't be disappointed by the lack of violence just happy to make it through another shift without it.

Rashad @ 5/23/2013 4:22 PM

I agree with Andrew..I was former Philadelphia and was fired and an offficer displayedb similar behaviors under Comissioner Johnson's watch and the good cop was fired and the thug remind on the job...So Commissioner Ramsey continue to hold individuals accountable and regain the trust of the public for your good officers....

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