Former Philadelphia police Lt. Josey charged for punching woman

November 15, 2012 3:33:09 PM PST
Former police Lt. Jonathan Josey, who was caught on camera punching a woman in the face, has been formally charged.

At a news conference on Thursday afternoon, District Attorney Seth Williams said Josey was charged with Simple Assault, a 2nd-degree misdemeanor.

All indications are Josey will fight these charges, but he is expected to surrender the District Attorney's office tomorrow to face the charged of Simple Assault, a 2nd-degree misdemeanor

An internet video seen by millions showed Lt. Jonathan Josey punching 39-year-old Aida Guzman at 5th and Lehigh at a street party after the Puerto Rican Day Parade on September 30th.

Williams says many in the crowd may have been rowdy and obnoxious, but Josey's behavior crossed the line.

"The use of force was not necessary in that circumstance. Of course he had every right to stop Ms. Guzman, to detain her for her behavior, if he believed it was unruly and reasonable people can conclude that her behavior was in appropriate," Williams said.

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey looked at the cell phone video and fired Lt. Josey right after the incident and sent the investigation to internal affairs which recommended the charges.

"Police officers have the legal authority to use force, but only that force necessary to affect an arrest," Williams said.

Josey is being defended by the Fraternal Order of Police which says it will fight for his acquittal in court and try to get his job back through arbitration.

"We're going to defend Jonathan Josey all the way through this process and make sure his day of exoneration will be coming," FOP President John McNesby said.

"It's a shame that sometimes these video clips that end up going viral, so to speak, tend to sensationalize these incidents and take things out of context," Josey's lawyer Fortunato Perry said.

The video begins with officers on the scene for a traffic stop of an erratic driver. Guzman can be seen jumping behind the officers with something in her hand. A few moments into the clip, an unidentified man throws liquid on Josey. That's when Josey turns around, approaches Guzman and punches her to the ground.

Through her lawyer Enrique Latoison, Aida Guzman said she is pleased about the criminal charges against Josey.

Community activist like Quetcy Lozada are also pleased.

"We've been asking for a thorough investigation and for fair punishment. If that's what they believe, they're the professionals in it, if that's what they believe are fair charges then we totally support that," Lozada said.

If convicted, Josey could see some jail, but that is unlikely as he would be considered a first time offender.

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