PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A former police lieutenant caught on video punching a woman in the face while responding to a disturbance at a Puerto Rican Day parade festival was charged Thursday with simple assault, prosecutors said.
Jonathan Josey, a veteran supervisor who has since been fired, was charged with the misdemeanor count after prosecutors carefully reviewed the video following an internal police investigation, District Attorney Seth Williams said.
Police were responding to a raucous situation when the incident occurred at the street party in north Philadelphia in September. A driver had been causing a disruption doing doughnuts with his vehicle and some people were throwing water, shouting epithets and shooting "silly string" at police trying to restore order, Williams said.
Video of the altercation shows 39-year-old Aida Guzman being struck in the face and falling to the ground, her face bloodied, and then being led away in handcuffs.
While the situation was "volatile," Williams said, Guzman did not pose a threat. "The use of force was not necessary in that circumstance," he said. "That behavior was not necessary and not justified."
Josey's attorney, Fortunato Perri Jr., said his client planned to surrender Friday, but that the 19-year veteran would be vindicated once all the evidence was reviewed.
"He was working in a very volatile environment that day," Perri said, adding that the video sensationalized what happened. "He'll be vindicated and hopefully he'll be able to get back to work."
Messages left Thursday with the Fraternal Order of Police weren't immediately returned.
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said he supported Williams' decision and said officers need to be very careful in how they use force.
"We have to always be mindful of the fact that we have a responsibility not to overreact," even in tough situations, Ramsey said.
Williams said he felt the misdemeanor charge was appropriate and that the use of force did not rise to the level of a felony, such as aggravated assault.
A disorderly conduct charge against Guzman was withdrawn. Mayor Michael Nutter has apologized to her, saying he was "appalled," ''sickened" and "ashamed" after seeing the video, which went viral on YouTube.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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