Lieutenant Jonathan Josey of the Philadelphia Police Department was captured on video last September punching a woman in the face at the Puerto Rican Day parade in 2012, and was fired by Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey a short time later. After being acquitted of assault charges, the Fraternal Order of Police appealed his dismissal to an arbitrator, and after a June hearing, has now issued an 18-page decision in Josey's favor:
"The arbitrator ruled on Monday that Josey's firing was "improper" and he will be reinstated with full benefits and back pay.
Josey was fired after he was videotaped punching the victim, Aida Guzman, after the Puerto Rican Day parade last September.
She was struck in the face and fell to the ground.
During his assault trial earlier this year, Josey testified that he was trying to knock a beer bottle out of Guzman's grasp.
At the time, the judge said the video was 'disturbing,' but said there was insufficient evidence to convict Josey of simple assault and he was acquitted.
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey fought to have the firing upheld."
According to the arbitrator, a frame-by-frame review of the video supports Josey's claims.
"He testified that Aida Guzman refused his order to drop a bottle of beer she was holding. He says he was trying to swat the bottle out of her hand when her left foot went out from under her as she stepped on a can. Guzman fell to the street, and the arbitrator ruled that's what caused her bloody lip, not a punch in the face."
"No that's a lie," Guzman said through an interpreter Monday. "I didn't fall on my face, that's a pure lie! I feel offended like they punched me in the face again."
Commissioner Ramsey said he is disappointed with the ruling, but says he will accept it.
"I have no regrets about the action I took at the time this took place," said Ramsey. "The decision has been rendered, and I'll abide by it."
Lt. Josey will be returned to work at with full benefits and pay, including back pay from the time he was dismissed in September until present.