Demonstrators protest ruling of ex-officer's acquittal by Philadelphia judge married to police officer

Lawyer Enrique Latoison, with his client Aida Guzman, outside City Hall, where about 40 people gathered to protest the verdict in her case.
Lawyer Enrique Latoison, with his client Aida Guzman, outside City Hall, where about 40 people gathered to protest the verdict in her case.
Posted: March 03, 2013

Protesters outside City Hall on Friday said they were outraged that Municipal Court Judge Patrick Dugan, who acquitted former police Officer Jonathan Josey of assaulting a woman attending the Puerto Rican Day Parade, was married to a police officer.

"Married to a Cop / Endorsed by FOP / How 'Impartial' / Can Dugan Be," read one sign at the noon rally, attended by about 40 people.

Dugan is married to Officer Nancy Farrell Dugan. He was endorsed for election by the Fraternal Order of Police.

Those connections became known Tuesday, the day Dugan acquitted Josey of assaulting Aida Guzman.

Guzman appeared with her lawyer, Enrique Latoison, at Friday's protest, and in Spanish thanked the crowd for its support. Latoison said he wanted the U.S. Attorney's Office to investigate the case. He also plans to file a civil suit.

A video of Josey hitting Guzman at the Sept. 30 Puerto Rican Day Parade went viral on the Internet. Josey was charged with simple assault and fired from the police force.

At his trial before Guzman, Josey said people in the crowd had been throwing beer bottles at police. He said he tried to grab a bottle from Guzman's hand and accidentally hit her. The punch knocked her to the ground and split her lip. Guzman said she had not thrown anything.

Frank Keel, a spokesman for the First Judicial District, issued a statement saying the Code of Judicial Conduct prevents Dugan and all judges from discussing rulings. He said Farrell Dugan was in court for the trial.

The protesters outside City Hall did not believe Josey's version of events. They said police often were overly aggressive at the Puerto Rican Day Parades.

"This happens every single year," Luis Sanabria said. "They just got caught this time."

Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sánchez, who is of Puerto Rican ancestry, told those in the crowd to educate themselves about judges and vote people such as Dugan out of office.

"If we're going to get angry, we've got to get angry with our votes," she said.


Contact Miriam Hill at 215-854-5520, hillmb@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @miriamhill.

Inquirer staff writer Mark Fazlollah contributed to this article.

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