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Protesters cry foul over fundraiser for Philly officer who punched woman

| Friday, Oct. 12, 2012, 10:32 p.m.

That benefit party the Fraternal Order of Police is throwing for fired Philadelphia Police Lt. Jonathan Josey on Oct. 28 apparently isn't going over too well.

Josey, 40, is the cop who was caught on a viral video punching Aida Guzman last month during the Puerto Rican Day Parade, prompting Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey to fire him.

But the police union plans to fete Josey with a $30-a-person fundraiser at the FOP hall on Spring Garden Street near Broad.

FOP President John McNesby said the FOP doesn't consider Josey's action a “fireable offense” and supports the fundraiser.

But some concerned Philadelphians are planning to protest, possibly the same day as the fundraiser.

“A lot of people are outraged by what Josey did,” said Margarita Padin, a Latina carpenter who has been involved in protests on behalf of minority construction workers.

“Get ready to protest,” she wrote in an email. “Fire and press charges against Officer Josey.”

Other organizations are calling for Josey to be prosecuted.

“We applaud the Philadelphia Police Department for taking immediate disciplinary action against Lt. Josey,” according to a statement issued on Friday by Kathy Black, president of the Philadelphia chapter of the Coalition of Labor Union Women. “However, we believe that this brutal, unprovoked attack warrants action by the District Attorney's office as well.”

Meanwhile, no charges have been filed against Josey. The DA previously dropped a charge of disorderly conduct against Guzman.

Tasha Jamerson, a spokeswoman for DA Seth Williams, said the DA's office can't investigate Josey until the police department's Internal Affairs Bureau wraps up its investigation and turns it over to the DA. “That has not yet happened, and until it does, we can't do anything,” Jamerson said.

Meanwhile, Kyle Prouty, an Occupy protester from Somers Point, N.J., on Friday created a petition at Change.org opposing the FOP fundraiser.

“Mayor Nutter has apologized to the victim, Aida Guzman, but Josey has not been brought up on criminal charges,” Prouty wrote. “Now the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) is holding a ‘fundraiser' in the honor of this woman-beating cop! Tell the FOP and FOP President John McNesby to STOP this party!”

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