In his first public comment since the video surfaced, Mayor Michael Nutter said Thursday he was “sickened” by the actions of Lt. Jonathan Josey, who was caught on tape punching a woman in the face Sunday during a celebration for the Annual Puerto Rican Day Parade.
Nutter, flanked by Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and other public safety officials in City Hall, said he supported Ramsey’s decision to fire Josey “100 percent.”
“I have watched the video 20 times and every time I look at it I am appalled, I am sickened and I am ashamed on behalf of the good men and women of the Philadelphia Police Department,” Nutter said. “The conduct seen on this video is particularly appalling and not the kind of conduct the Philadelphia Police Department expects from anyone, especially anyone in a supervisory position.”
“I don’t know what might or might not have been thrown or directed at the group of officers at the scene that we saw on the video, but at this point, the video shows no evidence of anything life-threatening neither toward the lieutenant nor fellow officers,” he continued.
Josey, a 19-year veteran of the force, has been suspended with the intent to dismiss. Ramsey also said the case would be forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office for possible criminal charges, although he and Nutter declined to say whether they thought Josey’s actions constituted an assault.
The District Attorney’s Office said Thursday it would not pursue disorderly conduct charges against Aida Guzman. Nutter also issued an apology to Guzman, 39, who suffered a bloody lip and minor bruises in the incident, which went viral after being posted on YouTube.
“On behalf of the city of Philadelphia and many other fine men and women of the Philadelphia Police Department, I want to extend my personal and deepest apologies to Ms. Guzman. She was injured and humiliated at the hands of someone who knows better or should have known better,” Nutter said.
Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 President John McNesby has defended Josey and said he is confident the veteran officer will be re-instated once the decision is appealed.