4 Jersey City Police Officers Suspended In Wake Of Video Showing One Officer Kicking Man On Fire

JERSEY CITY (CBSNewYork/AP) — Video of an injured man being kicked by police in Jersey City has resulted in four officers being suspended and two deputy police chiefs being reassigned.

The officers were responding Sunday night to a car chase, which ended in a fiery crash with another vehicle.

Video taken at the time shows a man in flames rolling out of the wreckage, police officers approach him with their guns drawn then one kicking him to the ground while at least one other joins in, CBS2’s Meg Baker reported.

It turns out the man officers kicked was the driver of the other vehicle, not the suspect they were looking for.

Miguel Feliz has undergone surgery for burns and remains in the hospital in stable condition.

Hudson County prosecutors say the man the officers were actually pursuing was Leo Pinkston, 48, of Jersey City. When he refused to pull over, police opened fire, causing Pinkston to crash into the car Feliz was driving and a utility pole.

Lt. Keith Ludwig and officers M.D. Khan, Erik Kosinski and Francisco Rodrigues were suspended indefinitely without pay and will have departmental charges brought against them. Ludwig is the only person police have identified on the video.

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and Public Safety Director James Shea said they had concluded the officers violated several guidelines during the chase, including firing shots from their vehicle at another moving vehicle.

“All the officers involved are going to be held accountable for their actions or inactions that night,” Fulop said. “We view the actions on (June 4) as a breakdown of multiple levels of leadership.”

The experience of the officers involved range from one years to 24 years on the force.

“We are disappointed with the mayor’s decision to not afford our member an opportunity for due process,” said Robert Kearns of the Jersey City Police Superior Officers Association. “We are confident that thorough investigation will provide a clearer picture of the actions for the officers involved where they are allowed to defend the same.”

The Hudson County Prosecutor’s office is investigating.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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