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Lt. Jonathan Josey, Philadelphia cop caught on video hitting woman in face, is charged

Lt. Jonathan Josey was caught on video hitting a woman in the face during Philadelphia's Puerto Rican Day Parade YouTube

(CBS/AP) PHILADELPHIA - Prosecutors have charged former Philadelphia police Lt. Jonathan Josey, who was caught on video punching a woman at a Puerto Rican Day parade in September.

Josey, who has been fired, was charged Thursday with simple assault, a misdemeanor.

District Attorney Seth Williams says he made the decision after carefully reviewing the video. Williams says police were responding to a chaotic situation, but the use of force was unnecessary.

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey says he supports the decision to charge Josey.

"We have to always be mindful of the fact that we have a responsibility not to overreact," even in tough situations, Ramsey said.

The video shows 39-year-old Aida Guzman being struck in the face and falling to the ground, her face bloodied, and then being led away in handcuffs. A disorderly conduct charge against her was later withdrawn.

According to CBS Philadelphia, Guzman's lawyer said she was shooting silly string into the air during the event, but did not aim it at any of the officers.

The Fraternal Order of Police has supported Josey through the accusations, and FOP President John McNesby spoke out against the charge, CBS Philadelphia reports.

"It's insane. No where have I ever seen anybody charged with one count of simple assault, and that's just through a private criminal complaint," said McNesby.

McNesby reportedly says the FOP is working to help Josey get his job back.

Complete coverage of Jonathan Josey on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

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