If you’ve been asleep at your keyboard for the past week, you may not know Lt. Jonathan Josey. For the unaware, he’s the Philly cop who made international headlines on Monday morning when a video of him punching a woman in the face during a Philadelphia Puerto Rican pride celebration hit the Internet.
If it seems like this story is all anyone in Philly talked about this week, that’s probably because it was. On Monday afternoon, we were told this incident occurred at a community organized event at 5th and Lehigh, not at the official 50th annual Puerto Rican Day Parade on the Parkway. You know, the one that airs on 6 ABC.
The folks at Ceisler Media made sure to point out to us that the “official parade” and the event in North Philly have no affiliation whatsoever. They were even kind enough to forward us a statement on behalf of the executive director of Concilio, which sponsors the “official parade.”
While thousands of people celebrated at Concilio’s Puerto Rican Day Parade on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, an unexplainable incident was taking place at an activity in North Philadelphia.
While we have no knowledge of what led to the incident, it is clear from the video that a police officer unnecessarily and brutally struck a woman in the face.
One of the reasons for Concilio’s founding 50 years ago was to combat police brutality such as the assault shown in this video. Even as we celebrate the tremendous advancements of Philadelphia’s Hispanic community over the decades, we cannot overlook this episode. We call on the Philadelphia Police Department to fully investigate and take appropriate action.
Regardless of the exact city coordinates of the punch, a Philly cop punched a woman in the face on camera, and race was brought into the conversation.
Philly’s reputation was another concern.
Don’t believe it got everyone’s attention? See:
“Philly officer seen hitting woman to be dismissed” [The Sacramento Bee]
“Just for the ladies: Philadelphia police officer accused of punching an unarmed woman posed topless as a ‘sexy sergeant’” [Daily Mail]
“Caught On Camera: White Shirt Cop Beats Down Woman for Spraying Him with Silly String” [Gawker]
“Video shows Philadelphia police officer punch woman during street gathering” [CNN]
“Jonathan Josey, Philadelphia Police Officer, Gets Suspended For Punching Aida Gusman” [Huffington Post]
An officer. A crowded street event. A punch. Ending the story there would be way too normal. This is Philly, and, of course, we soon learned the guy was named as one of the Daily News Sexy Singles back in 2006.
He has an IMDB profile and co-owns a production company with a Philadelphia paramedic.
He’s tight with Turae, of Def Comedy Jam fame.
It shouldn’t at all surprise you that he’s got an acting career on the side. Here, you can see him discussing his acting career—including his blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance in Gerard Butler’s Law Abiding Citizen—with the folks from YouTube’s The @nti $ocial $how.
As Josey mentions in the video, he appeared in multiple stage performances from GoKash Productions. He was apparently “hilarious” in Tryna Get to Heaven on 15 Cents (He, um, bulked up for his performance). Here, you can see one of his fellow Man, I Shoulda Put a Ring on It cast members discussing one of the play’s anti-violence themes.
He makes a brief appearance in the trailer for Love and Litigation—an independent film about how, “it’s like men and women are at war … a coochie war”—from Gazelle Films (check him out at the 1:15 mark). Dude can lean on a counter with the best of ‘em.
If you want to check out his most recent performance, you might want to head on over to Eventbrite.com where you can get tickets to a showing of The Conversation at the Adrienne Theater. Or, better yet, head to indiegogo.com where you can be an “Executive Baller!” by donating $15 to the production of the piece.
Josey’s resumé doesn’t stop after police lieutenant, amateur model, small-time producer and aspiring actor, though. No, no, no. You can’t talk about Jonathan Josey without mentioning his mean peach cobbler recipe.
Four days later, this story is running to its seeming conclusion: Jonathan Josey will soon have more time to emphasize his burgeoning theater career and hone his baking skills because Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey has announced that he intends to fire Josey in wake of the incident.