Federal probe sought into ex-cop’s assault acquittal

Posted: March 06, 2013

A Philadelphia group is demanding a federal investigation into the acquittal of the former police officer accused of assaulting a woman who attended last year's Puerto Rican Day Parade.

The Philadelphia chapter of the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women said Tuesday that it intended to deliver letters calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to open a criminal civil rights investigation of the Sept. 30 incident, which was captured on video and went viral on the Internet.

Last week, Municipal Court Judge Patrick F. Dugan acquitted Jonathan Josey, a former lieutenant, of simple assault for hitting Aida Guzman, 40, of Chester, at Fifth Street and Lehigh Avenue.

In a letter dated March 5, Quetcy Lozada, president of the group's Philadelphia chapter, wrote that Dugan "failed to disclose that he was married to a Philadelphia police officer who was in the courtroom supporting Jonathan Josey throughout the trial process."

Frank Keel, a spokesman for the First Judicial District, has said Dugan was prohibited by the Code of Judicial Conduct from discussing his ruling.

Keel confirmed that Dugan's wife, Officer Nancy Farrell Dugan, was in the court for the trial.

Lozada, who works for City Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sánchez, accused Dugan of making comments during the case that "indicated a racial bias against the Puerto Rican community."

In an interview, Lozada cited comments in the transcript of Dugan's verdict in which the judge mentioned "thousands of citizens partying in the Lehigh Avenue area between Second and Fifth Street in a post-parade gathering; police officers detailed to the area with a policy of tolerating open narcotics, marijuana, and alcohol."

Lozada said she would deliver copies of the letter, addressed to Attorney General Eric Holder and signed by her group and other organizations, to the Justice Department's Philadelphia office Friday.

Contact Robert Moran at 215-854-5983 or bmoran@phillynews.com, or follow @RobertMoran215 on Twitter.

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