A group of NJ cops was caught on cell phone video kicking and beating an innocent bystander who had been burnt by a vehicle that crashed while trying to flee police. The video shows the 28 years old man rolling out of a vehicle engulfed in flames. Several officers, some drawing their weapons, surround the man and one of them begins kicking him. The rest join in and can be seen dragging him away from the fire and onto street. The incident occurred at 11 Pm Sunday in Jersey City. The victim, who has not been identified yet, suffered severe burns and is fighting for his life at the hospital, a friend of the victim said. The officers in the video have not been named, but Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop told they will be fired and potentially prosecuted for their actions.
“This is unacceptable” Fulop posted on Twitter. “We’re IDing officers. We’ll pursue termination + criminal charges as appropriate.” The officers had been pursuing another man, Leo Pinkston, who drove off during a traffic stop on Ocean and Cator Aves. The 48 years old man drove erratically up Tonnelle Ave and got into a minor collision as he tried to drive between 2 lanes, prompting the pursuing officers to fire shots. Pinkston then crashed his vehicle into a utility pole and it burst into flames, police said. The bystander, who has not been identified, was driving along Tonnelle Ave at that time and was badly injured by the flames. Cops were seen on the video kicking the man, who was on fire, after he rolled out of his vehicle. “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” Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez said. Carmine Disbrow, president of Jersey City Police Officers Benevolent Association, said the officers were simply trying to save the man by putting out the flames. Pinkston faces charges of aggravated assault and eluding police.