In an unbelievable display of tone-deafness, the Philadelphia chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police is renting out its hall for members who want to raise money for Jonathan Josey, the former cop who deservedly lost his badge for decking a woman from behind.
The police union will fete the 19-year veteran with a $30-per-person benefit Oct. 28. "Come On Out and Support ONE OF OUR OWN" reads a flier inviting officers to the five-hour, Sunday-afternoon event at the FOP Hall on Spring Garden near Broad. Proceeds will help Josey with living expenses, because he no longer gets a paycheck, FOP President John McNesby said.Josey hasn't drawn a paycheck since October 3, when police commissioner Charles Ramsey suspended him for 30 days with intent to dismiss. McNesby, however, is using the occasion to double down on his support for Josey, even though this technically isn't an FOP event.
"It was inappropriate for the city to apologize to this woman and drop the charges until the investigation was complete," McNesby said. "And we still don't believe it's a fireable offense."Um, John? How in the world can you defend someone who took six steps toward Aida Guzman before punching her from behind? There's a word for that--assault. And that, to my mind, is why Ramsey summarily fired him--if anyone else were to do what Josey did, that person would be arrested.
He emphasized the event isn't an official FOP benefit, even though it's being advertised on FOP letterhead and the union's website. Rather, "it's a benefit that is going to be held at the FOP hall, by officers and co-workers. They're using our building."
Still, he added, "we are in support of it."
It's one thing to help Josey with his expenses. But to even appear to endorse a fundraiser for a guy who cold-cocked someone from behind? McNesby just made it a whole lot more difficult for his fellow officers to build any sort of trust in the community.
Tell McNesby what you think of this tone-deaf move--drop him an email at jmcnesby at fop5 dot org.