PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia Police officer who was caught on tape punching a woman in the face following the Puerto Rican Day Parade in September will be charged, according to the Fraternal Order of Police.
Lt. Jonathan Josey, who was a part of the police department’s Highway Patrol Unit, will be charged with one count of simple assault for striking a woman, 39-year-old Aida Guzman, in the face near 5th and Lehigh Streets.
Guzman’s lawyer, Enrique Latoison, said she was shooting silly string into the air during the event, but did not aim it at any of the officers.
The video seemingly depicts the same account – Guzman spraying silly string in the direction of police officers. None of the officers seems to notice, and none of the silly string appears to hit Lt. Josey.
Moments later, authorities say Josey punched Guzman in the face. She was then taken away in handcuffs and cited for disorderly conduct for allegedly throwing a beer bottle during the disturbance. Officials later decided to drop those charges.
On October 4, Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey suspended Josey for 30 days with intent to dismiss.
Mayor Michael Nutter spoke out about the video a few days after the attack, 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.
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.
The Fraternal Order of Police has stood by Josey’s side, even holding a fundraiser for him last month(see related story).
FOP President John McNesby spoke out against the charge.
“It’s insane. No where have I ever seen anybody charged with one count of simple assault, and that’s just through a private criminal complaint. When we as police are out there charged with simple assault, it’s dismissed immediately,” said McNesby.
McNesby says the FOP will help Lt. Josey fight the charge and is still working to help him get his job back.