PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Police have launched an internal investigation after a video was posted online that shows an officer striking a woman twice in the face at a neighborhood party associated with Philadelphia's annual Puerto Rican Day parade. The 36-second video uploaded to YouTube and titled "Philadelphia Police Brutality" shows the woman crumpling to the ground after being struck Sunday in north Philadelphia. The woman appears to be bleeding from the mouth as she is led away in handcuffs.While I understand there may be things not captured on the video, and that perhaps the woman was guilty of some level of disorderly conduct, in what way is that grounds for punching a woman in the face? Watch the video. At the 40 second mark you can see him focus on her, step up behind her and swing around to hit her in the face while she walks away, watching him over her shoulder.Moments before the woman was hit, the video shows someone else throwing a liquid toward the officers. The woman was also seen spraying something from a can.The woman, whose name was not released, was cited for disorderly conduct, said Officer Tanya Little, a police spokeswoman.The officer in the video, identified as highway patrol supervisor Lt. Jonathan Josey, is eager to tell his side of the story to internal investigators because there is more to what happened than the video shows, said John McNesby, president of the Fraternal Order of Police."We're hoping that it's neither a whitewash nor a witch hunt," McNesby said at a news conference Monday. "At the end of the day, his actions will be questioned, but I believe they can be defended."
He wasn't defending himself. From what I see, he engaged her. She came in from an angle, he says something and she veers away, and he steps into her space and hits her. I watched it over and over, noting my original response and what I saw as I studied what happened. I am curious if our readers see it differently.
As people become more frustrated with government and conditions, there will be more marching and protesting than ever. The Occupy movement will be one of many that will encourage people to speak out. This must be tolerated, and police must learn how to manage crowds and do so within the boundaries of the law. If she was guilty of a misdemeanor, it still doesn't give this cop the right to punch her while she is walking away from him.
This jackass had a choice. He could have taken her arm, or even done a police tackle if one had been required. Instead he hits her in the face in a sucker punch with way more force than necessary, and in a speech pretending to be neutral, we're told this sucker punch can be defended if we only knew the facts. The facts I can watch with my own eyes says this is an act of avoidable aggression by a bully with power.