Back in September, Philadelphia police lieutenant Jonathan Josey punched Aida Guzman in the side of the head at a Puerto Rican community festival. After a YouTube video of the incident went viral, Josey was summarily fired by police commissioner Charles Ramsey. For those who missed it, watch one of many copies here (the original has had embedding disabled):
Well, last week Josey was acquitted on assault charges.
In finding Josey not guilty of simple assault, Municipal Judge Patrick Dugan said that the media "sensationalized" the incident, which, he added, was captured on an "infamous" 10-second video clip that did not capture the incident in its totality.Somehow that doesn't add up. After all, the thing I can't get out of my head even now is that Josey took six steps before punching Guzman from behind. But Dugan said that this was a bang-bang situation, with dozens of people smoking pot, drinking and throwing bottles at cops. Therefore, no crime occurred.
Despite being "shocked" by the video, Dugan said, he concluded that Josey had acted within reason when he took a swipe at Guzman.
During the one-day, nonjury trial on Feb. 12, Josey testified that he had been trying to knock a beer bottle from her hand and was surprised that he had instead punched her, causing her mouth to bleed.
It turns out, though, that Dugan shouldn't have even been on the case. His wife, Nancy, is a 16-year veteran of the Philly PD--and according to legal experts, he should have recused himself.
This isn't over yet by any stretch. Guzman is filing a civil suit against Josey, and her attorney says he's going to ask the Justice Department to start a civil rights investigation.