Fmr. Philadelphia cop who punched woman on video found not guilty

February 26, 2013 3:31:28 PM PST
The former Philadelphia Police lieutenant, who was on trial for punching a woman in an incident that was caught on video, has been found not guilty.

The verdict was handed down Tuesday morning. It was a bench trial for Jonathan Josey, which means the ruling was solely up to the judge, who deliberated for two weeks.

"Being a cop in this city is something I've wanted to do since I was five years old. There's nothing else I've wanted to do," Josey said after court. "In my future, I plan on retiring when I want to retire."

Judge Patrick Dugan said the short video clip "didn't tell the whole story." Dugan said the video was disturbing, but blamed the media for sensationalizing the incident and playing it 'a thousand times.' He said the incident was part of a volatile, fast-paced situation - not a slow motion video.

Josey broke down in tears as the courtroom, packed with police officers, erupted in applause.

"We're thrilled that the verdict that was rendered in this case, and I'm sure Jon Josey is looking forward to getting back to work and doing what he does best, which is to protect and serve the people of Philadelphia," said Josey's lawyer, Fortunato Perri, Jr.

Action News has learned that Josey is planning to seek reinstatement to the Philadelphia Police Department.

Josey was accused of striking Aida Guzman in the face at 5th and Lehigh in North Philadelphia after the Puerto Rican Day Parade back on September 30th.

The incident was captured on video and posted on the internet, leading to a firestorm of protest from community and political leaders, who said Josey used excessive force.

Within days, Josey was dismissed from the police department. He had been charged with simple assault, a second degree misdemeanor.

On the witness stand earlier this month, Josey was near tears while telling the judge he swung at Guzman to knock a beer bottle out of her hand, and he wasn't trying to hurt her. He said he and other officers were hit with beer from behind and, each time he turned to see who did it, he saw Guzman jumping up and down.

Josey conceded he never saw Guzman throw beer. Guzman was arrested that day but charges against her were later dropped.

Speaking in Spanish after the verdict was handed down, Guzman accused the judge of perpetrating a cover-up, saying she knew the verdict would be not guilty. She went on to say the police department is racist.

Her lawyer, Enrique Latyoisin, said this was an assault on the Latino community.

"What took place today is an injustice to Miss Guzman, it was an injustice to the Puerto Rican and Spanish community," Latyoisin said. "The Spanish community was portrayed as being scary, lawless, people that were creating a mob situation."

"I respect Judge Dugan's decision but I disagree with it," said District Attorney Seth Williams in a statement. "While I believe Jonathan Josey was guilty of simple assault this is not the time to dwell on that and I hope as a community we can move past this."


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