Officer who slapped woman at parade gets job back

Jonathan Josey striking Aida Guzman of Chester.
Jonathan Josey striking Aida Guzman of Chester.
Posted: August 14, 2013

The Philadelphia police officer seen on videotape slapping a woman and knocking her to the ground after last year's Puerto Rican Day Parade in North Philadelphia, has gotten his job back, police said.

Jonathan Josey was reinstated Monday, a Police Department spokesman said.

Josey, a decorated veteran of the force, was seen on video knocking Aida Guzman to the ground as she crossed a street after the annual parade on Sept. 30, 2012.

Josey said he accidentally hit Guzman while trying to swipe a beer bottle from her hand when a crowd threw bottles at police making an arrest.

A few days after the video, showing Josey, then 40, striking Guzman, 39, was posted on YouTube, Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey fired Josey. The officer was also charged with assault.

On Feb. 26, Municipal Court Judge Patrick F. Dugan acquitted Josey at trial, prompting outrage in the Latino community.

Josey challenged his firing, and the matter went to arbitration. Earlier this summer, an arbitrator ruled in his favor, a police spokesman said.

John McNesby, president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, was unavailable for comment, a spokesman said.

Guzman received a $75,000 settlement from the city after filing a federal lawsuit over the incident.

Her lawyer, Enrique Latoison, said Monday that he was "expecting this, but still shocked" by Josey's reinstatement.

"Once he was acquitted, how could they keep him out?" Latoison asked.

He said Josey was fired before the internal investigation was completed, resulting in a violation of the police union contract.

Latoison said Guzman was upset about the reinstatement. "She feels revictimized and she's also scared for other people who can be treated this way," he said.


Contact Vernon Clark at 215-854-5717 or vclark@phillynews.com.

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