Philly officer who sucker-punched woman will be fired

Aida Guzman's lower lip shows the souvenir from Sunday's Puerto Rican Day Parade. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)

The Philadelphia police officer who was captured on video punching a woman in the face will be fired.

Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey said today that he had issued a direct-action dismissal, an immediate step that commissioners can take if they have evidence that an officer has violated departmental policies or the law.

Lt. Jonathan Josey, 39, is a decorated 19-year veteran of the department who has been praised by some colleagues even after the video emerged. He declined to comment. As of Thursday, he is suspended for a month with the intent to dismiss.

Ramsey had previously said he was "deeply troubled" by the now-notorious video.

"From what I saw, it's difficult to justify the actions that took place," Ramsey said Tuesday.

Josey's punch to the woman's head, which knocked her to the ground and bloodied her face, appeared to be a case of excessive force being used to make an arrest, Ramsey said.

The woman, Aida Guzman of Chester, was arrested Sunday for disorderly conduct at a celebration in North Philadelphia following the city's Puerto Rican Day parade. Police said they thought she was throwing liquid at a group of officers, which led Josey to target her.

District Attorney Seth Williams said today that charges against Guzman have been dropped.

Ramsey said police still have not been able to interview Guzman, despite several attempts. He made a public request that she speak to police in order to help move the investigation forward.


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