Last week, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey suspended police Lieutenant Jonathan Josey “with the intent to dismiss” after viral video emerged of Josey punching a woman in apparent reaction to someone else throwing water at him. In response to this suspension, the Philadelphia lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police plans to host a fundraiser for Josey:
The police union will fete the 19-year veteran with a $30-per-person benefit Oct. 28. “Come On Out and Support ONE OF OUR OWN” reads a flier inviting officers to the five-hour, Sunday-afternoon event at the FOP Hall on Spring Garden near Broad. Proceeds will help Josey with living expenses, because he no longer gets a paycheck, FOP President John McNesby said.
“You’re kidding me, right?” City Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez said of the benefit.
“While I understand that the FOP has to defend one of its own, I am extremely disappointed because this will appear that they are condoning the very visible actions of Josey, which hurts the image of their good officers,” added Sanchez, who represents the district where the incident occurred.
Let’s be clear. Violence against women is unacceptable, and it is the job of police to prevent it — not to cause it. McNesby complains that Josey must receive a full investigation, and McNesby is right. But the appropriate time to host a benefit for Josey is if that investigation clears him of wrongdoing and he is reinstated. In light of the video evidence against Josey, such an outcome appears unlikely:
Moreover, Scott Walker could not have asked for a better gift in his next campaign to undermine the essential work public sector unions do in preserving the dignity and security of unionized workers than the FOP’s decision to host this particular party. More than just creating a very harmful appearance about the police force’s priorities, the police union undermines its essential mission when it appears to stand on the side of police brutality.