2 b clear. This is unacceptable. We’re IDing officers. We’ll pursue termination + criminal charges as appropriate https://t.co/JIWPWQNrdp
— Steven Fulop (@StevenFulop) June 7, 2017
Cops in Jersey City, New Jersey may soon be out of a job. Mayor Steven Fulop says he’ll try to get officers fired for kicking an innocent bystander who had been on fire. Criminal charges are also a possibility.
This all started with a police chase on Sunday. Cops tried to pull over a driver, who fled. A statement from the Hudson County prosecutor’s office said the suspect caused at least two car crashes. The first one allegedly occurred as the suspect tried to drive between traffic lanes.
Cops reportedly shot at him.
The second crash is what sparked the possible terminations. The suspect drove right into a utility pole, injuring a man who was in another vehicle. As seen on video originally obtained by Univision, a large fire started, and a man can be seen exiting the wreckage, covered in flames.
“Oh, no, no,” said a witness, clearly distressed. “Help him out! Help him out!”
Cops did approach the man as the flames seem to die out, but at least two can be seen kicking him as he laid face-first on the ground. This individual, the innocent bystander, has been identified identified as 28-year-old Miguel Feliz. The prosecutor’s office described his burns as “severe,” and that he was in stable, but critical condition. His brother told CBS New York that he is in intensive care and is scheduled for surgery on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the suspect Leo C. Pinkston, 48, was arrested on count of eluding, and one count of aggravated assault. He was treated at a hospital for his injuries as well.
The prosecutor’s office said they took over the investigation from the police department, and their internal affairs unit is handling it. The probe is ongoing.
The local police union has already geared up for a fight against any attempt to fire the cops, who remain unidentified. President Carmine Disbrow, of the Jersey City Police Officer’s Benevolent Association, told CBS that the footage shows cops putting out the flames, and saving the man.
[Screengrab via Erick Roberto]