A Philadelphia police officer who was fired last fall for allegedly punching a woman is getting his job back.
The officer, Jonathan Josey, was caught on video knocking down Aida Guzman during a Puerto Rican Day Parade. Days after the incident, Police Chief Charles Ramsey reviewed the video and fired Josey. On top of being fired, Josey was pegged with assault charges.
Josey did not accept his firing or his charges. In court, Josey managed to be acquitted of the assault charges. After being acquitted, Josey, backed by the Fraternal Order of Police, appealed his firing to an arbitrator. A hearing was held in June.
Today, Philadelphia news station 6-ABC reported that the arbitrator ruled in favor of Josey, who will return to work with the Philadelphia Police Department immediately.
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The arbitrator ruled that Guzman, who is accused of spraying beer on police, refused to drop her bottle of beer. As Josey tried to swat the bottle out of her hand, Guzman slipped on a can, making it seem as though Josey knocked her down, when in fact she had slipped.
Or, at least, that is the narrative you will hear from the arbitrator.
Enrique Latoison, Guzman’s attorney, disagrees with the verdict and says the video is clear evidence that Josey was acting inappropriately when he struck Guzman. Latoison said the verdict is frightening, as it sends a message that police can be acquitted of charges even when if large amounts of evidence suggest they are guilty.
"This gives them free reign to continue to do what they're doing," Latoison said. "Because even when you're caught on video, you can still find a way to get away with that, and you still send a very, very scary message to all the citizens out there."