Even when it is caught on camera, even when it gets him fired, it is still nearly impossible to convict a cop for physically abusing a citizen.
That became evident today when a judge found former Philadelphia Police Lt. Jonathan Josey not guilty of punching a woman out in the video incident that went viral last year.
According to CBS News:
In a non-jury trial, Judge Patrick Dugan ruled Tuesday that Josey was not guilty of simple assault when he struck Aida Guzman, 39, in the face.
Guzman, who speaks Spanish, testified through a translator that she had been struck by Josey with a closed fist to her mouth.
Josey testified that the woman refused to drop a bottle of beer she had been holding. He said that he went to knock the bottle from her hand and was “shocked” to see her go down when his hand hit her face. She was originally charged with disorderly conduct but the charges were later dropped.
Judge Dugan admitted he was “troubled” by the video that caught part of the incident and went viral shortly afterward, but says there was more going on than revealed in the video – describing the scene as “chaos” and “volatile.”
Yes, the situation may have been chaotic and volatile and there were reports of people throwing bottles but that doesn’t give police the right to go around punching citizens just because they are holding a bottle of beer – just as it doesn’t give them the right to open fire on citizens simply because they are driving a similar looking vehicle to the one they are seeking.
Look at the video slowly, frame by frame. Guzman appears to be excited by the chaos, jumping up and down, when Josey comes out of the crowd towards her.
She appears to walk away from him, which is probably what irked Josey.
He wanted to teach her a lesson about bowing down to his authority.
It had nothing to do with the bottle in her hand.
UPDATE: It turns out, the judge is married to a cop who was standing in the courtroom in support of Josey.