Pa. officer fired after assault charge reinstated
Posted at: 08/12/2013 4:35 PM
(AP) PHILADELPHIA - A police lieutenant fired after he was accused of assaulting a woman during a party held on the day of last year’s Puerto Rican Day parade has been reinstated following an arbitration decision.
Police officials confirmed Monday that Lt. Jonathan Josey will be reinstated at the same rank following the ruling by the arbitrator.
Police were responding to a disruption at the north Philadelphia street party in September when video showed Aida Guzman being struck in the face and falling to the ground, her face bloodied, before being led away in handcuffs.
Josey, a veteran supervisor, was fired but was acquitted by a municipal judge in February of simple assault. He testified that he thought Guzman had thrown beer on him and he told her to put down the bottle and then swung in an attempt to knock it from her hand.
Guzman has said she didn’t throw any liquid but did shoot aerosol string into the crowd.
A disorderly conduct charge against Guzman was withdrawn, and Mayor Michael Nutter apologized to her, saying he was "sickened" by the video. Officials later said the city would pay $75,000 to settle a federal lawsuit filed by Guzman.
An attorney for Guzman said Monday that he and his client had expected the decision following Josey’s acquittal but were disappointed by his reinstatement anyway.
"It’s very disappointing, but it’s also very scary, as far as I’m concerned," attorney Enrique Latoison told philly.com. "If you can get away with something like this on video, what’s the limit?"
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, who fired Josey after viewing the cellphone video, said Monday that he had no regrets about his action "but the decision has been rendered, and I’ll abide by it."
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)