PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Days after a video went viral showing a Philadelphia Police lieutenant slapping a woman in the face during the annual Puerto Rican Day celebration, Mayor Michael Nutter spoke out for the first time about the incident, expressing his disgust, saying he is deeply sickened on behalf of the good men and women of the Philadelphia Police Department.
“I’ve watched it 20 times and every time I look at it I am appalled, I am sickened and ashamed, ” said Mayor Nutter.
WEB EXTRA: Mayor Nutter Reacts To Video…
Lt. Jonathan Josey, of the Philadelphia Police Department’s Highway Patrol Unit, garnered national and even international attention when he was caught on camera slapping 39-year-old Aida Guzman near 5th and Lehigh Avenue this past Sunday.
Moments after the assault, Guzman was taken away in handcuffs and cited for disorderly conduct for allegedly throwing a beer bottle.
“At this point, the video shows no evidence of anything life-threatening, neither toward the lieutenant nor fellow officers, anyone appeared in any life-threatening danger,” Mayor Nutter said. “And in fact, it appears that on the video Ms. Guzman was actually walking away from the group of officers when the lieutenant rushed her, using his height and his weight, cold-cocked her and delivered the blow that instantly sent her to the ground.”
Mayor Nutter said officers are trained to use force only as a last resort. He said good officers know how to get someone to comply to their orders in the easiest possible fashion.
“The video does not demonstrate the effective use of good police training,” Nutter said.
On Wednesday, the District Attorney’s Office announced they would drop the disorderly contact charge against Guzman.
“In looking at the video and looking at the charges, clearly there was some discrepancies there. So, I’m not at all surprised in the … I’m rather pleased that they did decide to drop the charges. I think it’s appropriate in this manner,” said Commissioner Ramsey who also said effective Thursday, Lt. Josey would be suspended for 30 days with the intent to dismiss. Lt. Josey’s case will be reviewed for possible criminal charges.
Mayor Nutter said Commissioner Ramsey has made a decision and he supports his decision 100 percent.
“I want to extend my personal deepest apology to Ms. Guzman – she was injured at the hands of someone who knows better or should have known better.”
Mayor Nutter says he will attempt to meet with Guzman.
WEB EXTRA: Commissioner Ramsey Responds…
“I’m happy that the mayor and the commissioner kept their word to the community and provided quick action,” said Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez, who called early on for the disorderly conduct charge against Guzman to be dropped.
FOP President John McNesby criticized officials for rushing to judgements.
“He’s being treated like a second-class citizen, no due-process. He’s been fired without just cause. We’re going to look forward to making sure he’s restored,” said McNesby.