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Officer in Philly punch video has heroic past

In his 19-year career, officer has shot and killed an armed robber and endured a stabbing that put him out of work for months

By PoliceOne Staff

PHILADELPHIA — A Philadelphia officer has been placed on desk duty as investigations continue into a use of force of encounter during the city's 50th Annual Puerto Rican Day Parade on Sunday.

A video posted to YouTube shows Jonathan Josey striking the woman, identified as Aida Guzman, who was among a throng of revelers who appeared to be throwing liquid at officers.

John McNesby, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said there is more to what happened than the video shows. He told the news conference that, from what he understands about how things unfolded, police were trying to stop a driver who was "doing 360s" in the road moments before the video was shot.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Tuesday that Josey, who is assigned to the highway patrol unit, has been placed on desk duty while the department's Internal Affairs bureau investigates the incident

In his 19-year career as a Philadelphia police officer, Josey has shot and killed an armed robber and endured a stabbing that put him out of work for months, according to the report.

City Councilwoman María Quiñones-Sánchez responded to Sunday's incident on a Facebook post, saying Josey displayed "unacceptable police behavior."

However, the comments come despite many users who pointed out the clip does appear to show Guzman throwing something toward the police.

"Nothing justifies his actions, nothing," Quiñones-Sánchez said in the post.

"That said, as leaders in our community, we also need to have a discussion about the rowdy behavior that continues after the parade."

Rochelle Bilal, president of the Guardian Civic League, which represents the city's black police officers, told the newspaper that Josey would not comment pending the outcome of the investigation.

Bilal said she did not know what preceded the video, but she said she would not have thought such actions were in keeping with Josey's character.

"What I've seen is not what I would like any police officer to do to anyone," Bilal said.

Lt. Josey was stabbed in July 2010 while trying to break up a fight at a West Philadelphia bar between an off duty officer and two women, according to NBC Philadelphia. Josey was also off-duty at the time.

In March 2010, Josey fatally shot a would-be robber he chased out of a 7-11 near St. Joe's University. Identified as Iraq vet Kenneth DeShields, the suspect tried to grab for Josey's waistband, forcing him to fire three shots.

Lower Marion Township police and the county DA found Josey justified in killing DeShields because "the perpetrator remained in control and possession of a firearm." On a video shot just after the incident, the store clerk hugged and thanked Josey for his action.

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