An investigation is underway after amateur video surfaced appearing to show several New Jersey police officers kicking and beating a man who was engulfed in flames following a car chase. The incident happened in Jersey City Sunday night following a six-mile-long police chase that ended in a fiery crash.
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The video appears to show a man trying to extinguish himself and officers kicking him. Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez says the man on fire in the video was not the 48-year-old Leo Pinkston who was being pursued by police but 28-year-old Miguel Feliz-Rodriguez, the driver struck by Pinkston. Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop is calling for the officers involved to be fired.
Of course there is another side. While the video shoes the unnamed man rolling on the ground to put out the flames - and more than half a dozen officers, many with their guns drawn, surrounding him - they're also kicking him. The police union says the video clearly shows the officers extinguishing flames and pulling the man out of harms way. "I am asking the community to withhold any judgement until the Office of the Hudson County Prosecutor concludes its investigation," Suarez said in a statement. "There will be a swift and fair review of all the evident being accumulated, but it would be irresponsible to rush to judgement without reviewing all the facts before us."
Pinkston is being held in Hudson County Jail on charges of eluding police and the aggravated assault of Feliz-Rodriguez. While initially describe as being critical, Feliz-Rodriguez is now in stable condition at a local burn center.