(PHILADELPHIA) — A police union is coming to the defense of the Philadelphia cop who has been targeted for dismissal after he was caught on video punching a woman in the face.
It was originally announced that Lt. Jonathan Josey would be suspended for a month pending an Internal Affairs investigation. But less than two days later, Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said he was taking “Commissioner’s Direct Action” against Josey and that the officer would be dismissed.
A video posted on YouTube shows Josey punching a woman in the face and knocking her to the ground before she is led off bloodied and handcuffed.
The Fraternal Order of Police in Philadelphia is angered with the decision and how quickly it was made.
“I think it stinks,” John McNesby, president of the Fraternal Order of Police in Philadelphia, told ABC News’ Philadelphia station WPVI. “It sends a bad message to the police out there on the streets.”
The Fraternal Order of Police is a U.S. labor union made up of law enforcement officers.
McNesby said that it remains unclear what happened in the moments leading up to the punch.
“The investigation wasn’t even complete,” he said.
McNesby said the union plans to fight the decision and he expects Josey to be reinstated, according to WPVI.
The woman who was punched, Aida Gusman, is pleased with the decision to fire Josey.
“We never asked for the officer to be let go, but we do agree with the decision,” Gusman’s attorney Enrique Latoison told ABC News. “This one officer’s actions have made the whole police department look bad. We do recognize the fact, from seeing the video, that he was the only officer that did what he did. He acted alone.”
Latoison said that Gusman is cooperating with police and will be meeting with the department of Internal Affairs as the investigation into the incident proceeds.
The video was taken at Sunday’s Puerto Rican Day Parade.
Josey, 39, has had 13 complaints made against him over his career, ranging from allegations of verbal abuse to physical abuse.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Chuck Johnston, CNN Newswire
Ray Sanchez, CNN Newswire