Officer Who Hit Paradegoer Found Not Guilty Of Simple Assault - FOX 10 News |

Officer Who Hit Paradegoer Found Not Guilty Of Simple Assault

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The Philadelphia police lieutenant who was caught on video striking a woman at the city's Puerto Rican Day Parade has been found not guilty of simple assault.

On Tuesday morning, a judge acquitted former Lt. Jonathan Josey of a misdemeanor second-degree simple assault charge for knocking 39-year-old Aida Guzman to the ground back last year.

However, it might take another battle for the 19-year police veteran to get his job back.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey told FOX 29 News after the judge's ruling that he won't reinstate Josey unless ordered to do so by an arbitrator.

The incident unfolded on the day of the parade, Sept. 30, as police were investigating a motor vehicle that was creating a hazardous condition on the roadway at Fifth Street and Lehigh Avenue.

Josey says he was just trying to knock a bottle out of the woman's hand.

But he was charged in November and later fired over the incident.

The defense argued during a non-jury trial earlier this month that Josey's actions were reasonable under the circumstances and had a "use of force" expert confirm the argument.

Judge Dugan Patrick F. Dugan took two weeks to consider the matter and issue his ruling Tuesday morning at the Criminal Justice Center.

Outside court, Josey spoke to the media with his attorney by his side, saying, "The video was shocking, but in the long run I acted in the scope of my duties. I had in no way intentions of striking Ms. Guzman."

Guzman also spoke to reporters in Spanish, saying, 

"I'm not a delinquent, and nobody standing there at 5th and Lehigh are delinquents. We weren't selling drugs, or anything, we were passing the … (day/time), that's the reason they have the Puerto Rican parade, or am I wrong?"

She added, "A lot of people will probably applaud the law ... but I know the majority of the Hispanic community knows that he did something wrong. Him too, he knows he did something wrong."

(You can watch reaction from both sides in the video clips above.)

District Attorney Seth Williams issued a statement that began, "I respect Judge Dugan's decision but I disagree with it."

"Let's be clear there were no winners on that day in September," Williams' statement read. "While I believe Jonathan Josey was guilty of simple assault this is not the time to dwell on that and I hope as a community we can move past this. As I said three months ago when Jonathan Josey was arrested, my job as District Attorney is to ensure that we only charge the right people with only the correct charges. Nothing more, nothing less. It doesn't matter if you are a doctor, lawyer, Monsignor of a church, police officer or bus driver, justice demands that we apply our laws fairly. Ultimately the final decision was in Judge Dugan's hands and I respect his ruling."

Later in the day, FOX 29's Dave Schratwieser spoke to Ramsey to get his reaction to the judge's ruling and whether he'll get his job back.

Ramsey said he believes Josey used excessive force when he struck Guzman.

Schratwieser then caught up with Josey, who said he's wanted to be a police officer since he was 5-years-old and he hopes to be reinstated.

Josey said the Fraternal Order of Police will file his paperwork, he can't wait to return, and he hopes to be back soon.

Schratwieser will have a full report on the judge's decision and reaction to it on the FOX 29 News at 5 and 6.


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