Shameful verdict undermines respect for the law
February 27, 2013By Dave Davies
Picture a video slightly different from the one above: A big guy in street clothes walks over to a petite female police officer and decks her with a hard right, leaving her bloodied and on the pavement.
The guy is captured on video and is arrested. Does he get off?
I've met Municipal Court Judge Patrick Dugan a couple of times at Democratic party events (in Pennsylvania, judges are first politicians). He was a nice guy. Served in Iraq.
But by finding a way to acquit Police Lt. Jonathan Josey of the assault captured above, Dugan did his part to undermine Philadelphians' respect for the law and the police officers who are supposed to both obey and enforce it.
Josey's defense was that he was trying to take a bottle from the victim's hand and he accidentally hit her face. Please. Watch the video. As the Daily News' Ronnie Polaneczky points out, if he'd hit her by accident he would have quickly apologized and reached to help her. Instead he calmly cuffed and arrested her.
If you want another perspective, Christine Flowers cheers Dugan's decision, insisting it's unrealistic to expect cops to "play by the Marquess of Queensbury rules" when facing "an unruly and possibly violent mob." I say horse puckey. The standard here is some measure of professionalism. Again, watch the video.
Phawker's Jonathan Valania notes that cops are people and there are circumstances, like when you lead them on a high speed chase, when you will take some lumps. This is different.
Valania says it's as if "we have entered some brave new world. A world where nothing that happens on video is true. A world where all those hidden-camera traffic tickets that come in the mail are null and void, and all fines levied shall be reimbursed in full, plus interest."