Officer Who Hit Woman Fired, Victim Gets Apology

Mayor Nutter says he's appalled and ashamed after watching the video of a Philadelphia police Lieutenant hitting a woman during a public event. He apologized to the victim, Aida Guzman

Philadelphia’s Mayor says he’s appalled, angry and ashamed after watching the video of a Philadelphia police Lieutenant hitting a woman during a public event on Sunday. It's the first time we've heard publicly from mayor Michael Nutter since Sunday's incident, which was caught on video.

"I have watched it 20 times and every time I look at it, I am appalled, I am sickened and I am ashamed on behalf of the good people of the Philadelphia police department.

The video, which has had over 1.3 million views on YouTube, shows Lt. Jonathan Josey hitting Aida Guzman, who admitted spraying silly string near the officer. Another person in the video appeared to have thrown something liquid. Josey turns around at that point and as Nutter described:

“Using his height and his weight, he cold-cocked her.”

After that, Guzman, who is 39 and from Chester, was handcuffed and charged with disorderly conduct. Those charges were dropped on Wednesday.

Since Sunday, she has hired an attorney, shown pictures of her busted lip and bruised elbow, and claims she's afraid to go back to Philadelphia. Her attorney said early Thursday that not one person with the city of the police department had said, "I'm sorry."

That apology came from Mayor Nutter at Thursday's news conference.

“And so on behalf of the city of Philadelphia… I want to extend my deepest and most personal apology to Ms. Guzman.”

Commissioner Charles Ramsey followed through on his promise for swift, strong action if warranted. He suspended Josey and let the officer know that the department doesn't want him back on the job.

"Lt. Josey is making an appearance at Internal Affairs and getting the paperwork that informs him that he's being suspended for 30 days with intent to dismiss," Ramsey said.

Josey's case is being sent to the District Attorney's office early next week to be reviewed for possible criminal charges.

Josey, a 19-year veteran of the force, was the commanding officer on the scene at Sunday's event.

Before that career-ending tape surfaced, Josey spent 19 years with the department and had been most recently commended for shooting a man who tried to rob a convenience store. Josey was off-duty when he chased down the gunman and fatally shot him. He was exonerated and commended for his actions.

Mayor Nutter said Josey violated his role as a public servant.

"We're here to serve the people who hire us. We're not over them or above them. We're here with them."

Contact Us