Reporting Mark Abrams
By Mark Abrams
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police is standing behind a police lieutenant who was fired on Thursday after being caught on video slapping a woman to the ground during Sunday’s Puerto Rican Day festivities. (read related story)
John McNesby, president of FOP Lodge 5, says Commissioner Charles Ramsey’s decision to fire Lieutenant Jonathan Josey will be appealed.
McNesby says the 20-year-veteran was fired without just cause and before any internal affairs investigation of the incident was completed.
“Here you don’t have an investigation. The ink’s not even dry on the paper work yet,” says McNesby. “The girl, from what I understand is just coming in (Thursday) for an interview. So I mean, here we clearly have an investigation that’s not done and you’ve got an officer that’s going to be unemployed.”
McNesby says the video, which was posted on the web, shows Josey responding and making one swinging motion to stop 39-year-old Aida Guzman after police believe she threw beer on them during Sunday’s event. (read related story)
McNesby says even on the video, there is no evidence Josey used excessive force.
“Was it multiple swings? Was he pulling hair? Was he kicking anybody? Absolutely not,” he says. “You know, there was one swinging motion. She was handcuffed and led to the police wagon.”
McNesby conceded Josey’s actions might merit a suspension, but not dismissal.
“You got to take the totality of everything, his whole career and see exactly,” he says. “I mean, would it merit maybe a suspension? Possibly. You know, 10, 20, 30-day suspension. But not a firing.”
McNesby remained confident the decorated officer would eventually be returned to duty.