Philadelphia Police Officer Suspended wth Intent to Dismiss in Punching Case

I wrote earlier about how shocking it was for a Philadelphia Police Officer to be recorded punching a woman in the face at the annual Puerto Rican parade.  It was announced recently that this officer will be suspended with intent to dismiss.  The video was indisputable proof that will make it very difficult for this officer to get his job back.  The union for the police indicated that it was a knee jerk reaction by Commissioner Ramsey.  I feel that the decision was justified.

I am going to put myself in the shoes of the police officer for a minute.  I am a Supervisor with 19 years of experience.  Either my actions in this case were an aberration or I have been punching people on a regular basis.  Also, I create arrests to cover my actions that are not legal.  It's Saturday morning and I can't think of one person who can justify my actions.  My whole persona that I built up crumble with that recorded punch.  I need to make a public statement and start to line up my next career moves.

The mayor invited the victim to City Hall for a personal apology.  The District Attorney dropped the charges against the victim, Aida Guzman, and that is some measure of redemption.  Her lawyer indicated that she has not decided whether to sue the city.  There was a protest of about a dozen people to highlight the continuing effect f police brutality.  I would agree that what happened on the recorded video is more pervasive than we hear about in the press.  The one time that a police officer is caught in the act will make it better in the future for innocent citizens.

It has been a tough couple of years for Philadelphia police officers.  Their have been numerous indictments for selling drugs, thefts and other crimes.  Also, officers have been shot at or killed in too many instances.  I sympathize with the stress of the job.  I hope that in the future, we can all learn to respect the boundaries of citizen and police in a better manner.  The streets are sometimes dangerous.  Crowd control can be harrowing but that is what training is for.  Self restraint is key in any profession.  I wish Ms. Guzman a speedy recovery.  I wish the officer in question an opportunity to reclaim his professional reputation.



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