Video shows police officers kicking innocent bystander on fire after crash

Posted at 10:59 AM, Jun 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-08 10:59:08-04

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Several New Jersey police officers were caught on camera kicking a man who was on fire after being struck by a car as it crashed.

The amateur cell phone video starts in dramatic fashion, showing a vehicle engulfed in flames on Route 1 on Sunday night.

Leo Pinkston, 48, crashed his car in front of the EconoLodge after being chased by police for six miles. Officers had fired shots as they chased him.

But what happens next has Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop calling for the termination of the officers who responded to the scene.

They were caught on camera kicking a man on fire after he crawled away from the wreckage. That man wasn't Pinkston - it was an innocent bystander.

“Where appropriate, there could, and probably would be criminal charges,” said Mayor Steven Fulop.

It's unclear why the officers decided to kick the man instead of helping him.

“Look, we have a high standard for the police department," said Mayor Fulop. "They do a tremendous job. We’re not going to let just a few bad apples be a reflection on the entire police department or the entire city. We’re going to be aggressive with them."

Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez released a written statement that reads in part:

“This video is now part of all the evidence we are considering as we investigate the actions of all individuals… 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.”

Carmine Disbrow, president of the Jersey City Police Officer Union, told PIX11 the entire incident is being investigated.

"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."