Society

New Jersey Cops Reportedly Beat Innocent Man On Fire (Videos)

| by Lauren Briggs

A shocking video (below) shows New Jersey police officers kicking a man who had just been pulled from a fiery car crash.

The incident happened on June 4, when a police car chase with a man named Leo Pinkston ended in a three-car collision into a pole. Commuter Miguel Feliz was not involved in the chase, but ended up engulfed in flames, notes CNN.

The footage shows Feliz on fire, rolling on the ground after escaping from his vehicle. A number of officers approach him, guns drawn.

What happens next is up for debate.

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Some who are connected to the officers said they were simply doing their job and helping the man.

"Taking swift action isn't always elegant, but this video clearly shows that the officers acted quickly to extinguish the flames, and pull this man out of harm's way," Carmine Disbrow, president of the Jersey City Police Officers Benevolent Association, said in a statement.

But according to eyewitness Erik Roberto, who took the video on his phone, the video "clearly" shows the officers kicking and attacking him.

"You can see it completely different in the video," Roberto told WNBC. "He didn't have fire on his chest and that's where they beat him." 

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Roberto said he does not have a problem with police in general, but does not believe these particular officers reacted appropriately.

"They didn't help him, they just started kicking him and grabbing him," Roberto added, WNBC reports. "I don't think they treated him the right way, and that's not how you treat any human in this world." 

The incident left Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop calling on the police department to fire the officers involved and saying that his office would do what they could to start that process.

"We are not going to let some poor judgments from police officers reflect on the entire police department," Fulop said, according to CNN.

Local prosecutor Esther Suarez requested in a June 8 statement that individuals allow the county to do its job and refrain from judgment until then.

"There will be a swift and fair review of all the evidence being accumulated, but it would be irresponsible to rush to judgment without reviewing all of the facts before us," she added.

According to WNBC, the victim has severe burns and fractured ribs. He was hospitalized and was scheduled to go into surgery on June 8.

Warning: This video contains strong language and graphic content.

Sources: CNNWNBC / Photo Credit: NathanWert/Wikimedia Commons

Were the officers just helping put out the fire?
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