With Even Police Executives Calling His Story “BS,” Why is Jonathan Josey Still a Philly Cop?

Philadelphia police officer Lt. Jonathan Josey was fired in October of last year for hitting a woman in the face during Philly’s 2012 Puerto Rican Day Parade. He was returned to the force in August with all of his back pay, after he was first acquitted of simple assault in the incident by a Philly judge, and then returned to duty after the Fraternal Order of Police appealed his dismissal to an arbitrator, who issued an 18-page decision in Josey’s favor. According to ABC Philly, the arbitrator said that 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.

However, according to notes obtained by the Declaration from a Power Point presentation given at the Police Executive Research Forum‘s (PERF) “Town Hall” meeting in Philadelphia (part of the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference being held in Philly this week), even other senior officers find Josey’s account dubious.

The Power Point presentation was given by Chuck Wexler, the Executive Director of PERF (it is unclear who wrote exactly what within the text – there are several notes and asides addressed to Wexler from a third party, perhaps an assistant or another senior officer). The notes are part of a discussion on issues surrounding police use of force, and can be seen in the image below.

Notes from the Police Executive Research Forum's Town Hall refer to Josey's story as "BS"

Notes from the Police Executive Research Forum’s Town Hall refer to Josey’s story as “BS”

As can be seen, the author of the notes “likes” the third video because

…you can see that the officer’s story–that he wasn’t trying to hit her, he was trying to take away something in her hand and she slipped on a beer can – is BS.

Jonathan Josey is currently policing the streets of Philadelphia, in command of other officers, despite the fact that his wrongdoing is apparently obvious even to other law enforcement officers.

About Kenneth Lipp

Kenneth is a writer and researcher. He’s from Alabama, and will not apologize for it. He moved to Pennsylvania in 2012, but has been in love with Philadelphia since a late-night stroll down Ben Franklin Parkway to the Art Museum in July of 2011 with the love of his life. He is interested in telling Philadelphia’s dynamic and absolutely unique stories with the zeal of a constantly enamored newcomer. Kenneth is also passionate about government transparency and protection of whistleblowers, most notably PFC Chelsea Manning. His research and reporting on law enforcement and surveillance have been featured in various publications, including Rolling Stone (Meet the Private Companies Helping Cops Spy on Protesters) and Popular Science (Boston Tested Crowd-Watching Software That Catalogues People's Skin Color). His training is in both genetics and history and he likes the joke about being a helicase and unzipping your “genes.” He’s driven to know, and thinks you can handle, the truth. Follow him on Twitter @kennethlipp.

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