Cop “not guilty” of brutality in spite of video and reality


A Slap In The Face: Cop “not guilty” of brutality in spite of video and reality

J Leslie

A few months ago, we posted disturbing video of a Philly cop sucker punching a woman, who was about half his size, at the Puerto Rican Day Parade.

At the time I wrote, “On September 30, during a street party following the annual Puerto Rican* Day Parade; a Philadelphia cop brutally attacked, then arrested,  Aida Guzman.  Video uploaded to youtube later that day, clearly shows the unprovoked assault by Lieutenant Jonathan Josey.  On the video, someone behind Guzman throwing liquid on the cops. Josey walked up to Guzman from behind and punched her in the face with his fist.  Josey has a history of abuse complaints from members of the community.”

In spite of the video evidence, a Judge (who is married to a Philly Cop!) found Officer Josey NOT GUILTY of simple assault.  So, you see, reality and evidence don’t mean jack when poor people, especially people of color, are assaulted by the police.

This is a slap in the face to everyone in this city.   How can cops and city officials talk about justice, or protecting the public, when this obvious miscarriage of justice happens with the collusion of the so-called justice system?  How long will it be before Guzman’s assailant is back in uniform  — and with 6 months back pay in his pocket?

I think it’s worth repeating what was said in the previous article:

“We are often told that cops are here to protect and serve, but to protect what and serve who? Cops are usually from working-class backgrounds, but it’s a mistake to think that they bring a working-class identity into the job. By becoming police, they become enforcers of the capitalist social order and protectors of capitalist property.  This is clearly demonstrated by the police murder of striking South African miners and the daily violence against workers and the oppressed around the globe.”

“Guzman’s attacker, Lt. Josey, has been suspended pending termination ,and Mayor Nutter has expressed horror at the incident. The fact that Josey is African-American is irrelevant. Black cops serve the same racist power structure as white cops.  Josey should be prosecuted for assault and the cops who stood by while Aida was battered should be fired.”

Under capitalism, cops serve the 1% and not the rest of us. Especially now, in the context of the mass incarceration of a generation of Black and Latino/a youth,  cops are the intake mechanism for an inhuman and genocidal prison industrial complex. Some say that because this was a case of a Latina attacked by an African-American cop that this isn’t about racism.  Black cops serve a racist power system that locks up a disproportionate number fo Blacks and Latino/as daily. The whole way this case was handled by a  Police Commissioner, District Attorney and Mayor, who are all Black, was managed in a way to preserve the functioning of a system that pretends to be colorblind while it reinforced the worst forms of racial apartheid in the justice system.

Police repression and mass incarceration are something we can expect in relation to the current crisis of capitalism.  Capitalism is incapable of creating jobs and prosperity for everyone and the ruling rich will need ever-increasing repressive measures to hold the working class and its allies in check as we fight back for our rights.

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