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Judge discards video evidence of Philadelphia cop sucker punching Puerto Rican woman

By Stephen C. Webster
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 9:18 EDT
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A Philadelphia police officer drags away Aida Guzman after striking her in the mouth.
 
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A Philadelphia judge ruled Tuesday that a police officer who was caught on camera last September sucker punching a woman in the face is not guilty of assault.

Video evidence of former police officer Jonathan Josey punching victim Aida Guzman was not considered during the trial, as Municipal Judge Patrick Dugan said he was not considering it a full or accurate portrait of the situation.

“This is not a social-media contest; this is not a trial by video,” he said in the courtroom, according to The Philadelphia Daily News. “This was a violent, fast-paced, real-life situation.”

Josey testified that he did not intend to punch the woman in the mouth, but instead intended to slap a beer bottle from her hand after officers complained that partiers at the annual Puerto Rican day were throwing bottles and other objects at police.

The officer was later fired and the mayor apologized to Guzman.

Appearing on CBS Philly Wednesday morning, Attorney Enrique Latoison pledged that his client’s fight for justice will go on. “It’s obvious from looking at the video that this was an intentional act,” he said. “The officer took three steps towards my client and then slugged her in the face.”

Latoison added that after Guzman went down, the officer put an elbow in her back and cuffed her so tightly that her wrists bruised. “If you… accidentally hit someone and you were repentant and dropped to your knees, you are immediately going to act in a way to show that you’re sorry, to show that you’re remorseful, to show that it’s an accident.”

The attorney said he’s already contacted the Department of Justice and may file civil rights charges against the former officer.

This video is from CBS Philly, broadcast Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013.

[Correction: This post originally said Dunan testified, but he is the judge.]

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
 
 
 
 
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