Jersey City officers were caught on camera appearing to kick a man while he was on fire.
ABC 7 reports:
Cellphone video obtained by Eyewitness News shows police officers kicking and dragging an innocent bystander who was on fire following a chase and fiery crash in New Jersey Sunday night.
The incident happened just after 11 p.m. as Jersey City police officers tried to stop the driver of a car near Ocean Avenue and Cator Avenue.
During the pursuit, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office said the fleeing driver was involved in two different crashes. In the first, officers fired shots at the driver as he tried to drive between two lanes of traffic, but the driver, they say 48-year-old Leo Pinkston, kept going.
Several blocks later on Tonnelle Avenue, the fleeing driver crashed into a utility pole, causing a fire that somehow injured another driver in a different car.
It’s apparently this driver, 28-year-old Miguel Feliz, who can be seen in the video. He gets out of his car and is on fire as officers approach him.
In the video, the first officer goes up and kicks Miguel, knocking him down. Another officer appears to kick Miguel, too.
The officers then drag him away from the fire scene – off the sidewalk and into the road.
Miguel was taken to the hospital with severe burns.
“My brother right now is in very bad shape,” said Ramon Feliz, the victim’s brother. “30-percent of his body is burned.”
He says his brother was critically injured from the crash. The young father from West New York was heading home from work.
“OK, anyone can get confused,” Ramon said. “But how are you going to tell, the police can’t identify who is who.”
“Help him out, help him out,” you hear Eric Roberto’s voice pleading for cops to help in the video. He was unsettled by what he witnessed.
“I Don’t got nothing against the cops, but that wasn’t the proper way to treat anybody in that kind of situation,” Roberto said.
“Our investigators have reviewed the video and we believe with certainty that this man is the bystander from West New York who suffered burns, not Leo Pinkston, the individual pursued by police,” said Raymond Worrall, Director of Communications for the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office. “As I previously said, we will utilize all resources available to the Prosecutor’s Office for a full and thorough investigation as we seek to bring this matter to a rightful conclusion.”