After Philadelphia cop Jonathan Josey was fired for cold-cocking a woman from behind at a parade, the president of the local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, John McNesby, vowed to "go to war" to overturn commissioner Charles Ramsey's decision to summarily fire him. After watching the now-infamous video, I have to wonder if McNesby was looking at a different incident. What he apparently considers to be a gut reaction is what I--and just about any other reasonable person--would consider to be a criminal act.
Take a good look at what happened almost two weeks ago:
By my count, Josey took six steps toward Guzman before punching her. This is way, way beyond what could reasonably be considered a heat-of-the-moment reaction. In fact, if I were to walk six steps toward someone before punching them--whether that person's back was to me or not--I'd be arrested for assault.
I suspect this is what Ramsey must have been thinking as well. If Josey had just whirled around and punched Guzman, I'd be in favor of letting a normal investigation play out. However, I'd still consider this a firing offense not only because this was way, way beyond reasonable force (especially considering this was a 19-year veteran), but because you simply cannot hit a defenseless person from behind.
These factors, to my mind, demand that Josey be brought up on assault charges. Tell the area DA, Seth Williams, to bring assault charges against Josey. The message must go out--if you abuse your badge this way, you're going to have to be up before a judge.