The Delaware County woman who was caught on cellphone video being punched by a
Philadelphia police officer during last year’s Puerto Rican Day festival has reportedly settled her federal civil rights suit against the city and the since-fired cop.
Court records show that Aida Guzman’s case against former Philadelphia Police Lt. Jonathan Josey was dismissed with prejudice, the decision coming in a May 3 order filed by the clerk of court at the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
U.S. District John R. Padova had been assigned to oversee the case, records show.
Guzman’s suit, filed back in January at the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, accused both the City of Philadelphia and Josey of violating her civil rights.
The basis for the claim was the incident at the 2012 Puerto Rican Day parade in the city’s Kensington section during which Josey was caught on video punching Guzman in the face.
Initial disorderly conduct charges against Guzman were dropped by Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, although the prosecutor later lodged his own assault charges against Josey.
During a bench trial at Philadelphia Municipal Court in February, however, Josey was found not guilty, with the judge agreeing with the defense’s claim that Josey hadn’t intentionally struck Guzman, but rather accidentally hit her while attempting to swipe a beer bottle from her hand; parade-goers were apparently throwing liquid at police at the time, although it doesn’t appear any came from Guzman, only from her direction.
Josey is currently fighting to get his old job back, according to local news reports. He is being backed by the local police union.
While the court docket in Guzman’s civil case doesn’t disclose the terms of the settlement, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported over the weekend that the city has offered to pay Guzman $75,000 to settle her case.
Mark McDonald, a spokesman for Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, confirmed the settlement to the newspaper.
Attorney Jeffrey Scott, who represented Josey, also confirmed the settlement to the Inquirer, but was quoted as saying he couldn’t discuss its specific terms.
The record shows that Guzman had been represented by lawyers J. Patrick Hickey and Nicholas Orloff, of the Media, Pa. firm Raffaele & Puppio.
Neither Hickey nor Orloff returned emailed messages on Monday from the Pennsylvania Record seeking comment.