East New York Crash Involved Unmarked Police Car

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Authorities said eight people, including two police officers, suffered minor injuries following a police pursuit of a vehicle in Brooklyn.

The crash involved an unmarked police car in East New York early Wednesday morning.

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The pursuit began around 2:30 a.m. in Queens and crossed into Brooklyn after police received a report that the vehicle, a black Nissan Altima, may have been involved in a hit-and-run, police said.

“Officers saw a car go through a red light, and they pursued that car,” NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said. “The driver was driving erratically.”

Police say the Altima then struck a BMW carrying five people that was stopped at a red light at Atlantic and Van Siclen avenues before the cop car hit the Altima. But a witness, who did not want to be identified, told CBS 2’s Tony Aiello that the police scar slammed into the Nissan first, forcing it into the BMW.

“He tried to slow down, but the cop was coming so fast he rear-ended him,” the witness said.

Another witness told CBS 2 he saw the speeding Nissan hit a pothole on Atlantic Avenue and spin out of control before the crash.

“He skid. He couldn’t control it,” said the witness, who also did not want to be identified.

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Some neighbors believe the police pursuit was irresponsible, Aiello reported.

“This is not the first time they doing a high-speed chase and endangering other people,” said Pia Walker, who rushed out of her apartment after hearing the crash.

NYPD policy leaves pursuits up to the discretion of officers. The guide says pursuits should be “terminated whenever the risks to uniformed members of the service and the public outweigh the danger of the community if the suspect is not immediately apprehended.”

Kelly said he believes the officers acted properly.

The investigation is still ongoing, police said. The suspect is hospitalized with a broken hip and is expected to be charged soon. The police officers and the five people in the BMW were also treated at area hospitals.

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