Sunday, April 20, 2014
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Puerto Rican community protests ex-cop's acquittal outside City Hall

Outraged with the recent acquittal of a former cop who was caught on video hitting a woman at the Puerto Rican Day Parade, about 60 protesters swarmed the east side of City Hall on Friday and briefly shut down traffic on Penn Square.

Puerto Rican community protests ex-cop's acquittal outside City Hall

Outraged with the recent acquittal of a former cop who was caught on video hitting a woman at the Puerto Rican Day Parade, about 60 protesters swarmed the east side of City Hall on Friday and briefly shut down traffic on Penn Square.

"This is about justice," Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez told the crowd. "I don't want to be the next Aida Guzman." 

Many members of the city’s Puerto Rican community showed up to rally support for Aida Guzman, who was hit by then-Lt. Jonathan Josey at the parade in September. Josey lost his job after the incident.

Municipal Judge Patrick Dugan’s decision to acquit Josey on Tuesday has come under fire after it was revealed that he is married to a police officer and is backed by the police union.

More coverage
 
Cop punched her, but she was charged?
 
Josey and the pussycat
 
Should judge in cop case have recused himself?
 
Video evidence not always a clear picture, experts say
 
Will Josey get his job back?
 
Can't ignore video evidence
 
Judge is right; this is not 'trial by video'
 
In acquittal of Philly cop, video lost
 
Verdict is slap in the face

Guzman attended the rally, telling supporters in Spanish, “Thank you with all my heart.”

Dugan’s decision, however unpopular, cannot be appealed in state court. The only hope for Guzman’s case, her lawyer said Friday, is that it builds enough public support that the federal Department of Justice takes it up.

After many protestors had poured onto the street, Quinones-Sanchez said she supports Guzman's hope that the case be taken up by the feds.

“Unfortunately, Judge Dugan – and I know him personally – should have recused himself. We knew it was a high-profile case and would be scrutinized, and why put yourself in that situation?” she said. “It does add to the natural inclination of people not to trust a system. When people say, ‘That’s Philadelphia,’ we should all be outraged.”

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Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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