What to Know
- Four Jersey City police officers pleaded guilty months after a shocking video emerged showing them kicking and dragging a flaming bystander
- The four are all out of a job for the June 2017 assault on the bystander captured on video, following a car chase and fiery crash
- The four officers were indicted later that year on charges ranging from aggravated assault to attempted murder.
Four Jersey City police officers have lost their jobs as part of a guilty plea on Tuesday, but will not get any jail time months after a shocking video emerged showing them kicking and dragging a flaming bystander following a car chase and fiery crash.
The four officers — Lt. Keith Ludwig, MD Khan and officers Eric Kosinski and Francisco Rodriguez — were indicted in 2017 on charges ranging from aggravated assault to attempted murder in the June 4 beatdown that year.
Khan pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, while Officers Kosinski and Rodriguez copped to endangering a person by creating substantial risk of injury. All four officers are banned from ever serving as a part of law enforcement again.
The officers has previously been charged with aggravated assault and official misconduct. All but Ludwig were accused of possessing a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and Kosinski and Khan faced charges of attempted murder. Pinkston also faced a number of charges in connection with the pursuit.
Officers had been trying to stop a vehicle near Ocean and Cator avenues in Jersey City late that June night; the driver, Leo Pinkston, fled and the cops gave chase. Pinkston was involved in a number of crashes during the pursuit, and multiple shots were fired. Eventually, he crashed into a vehicle on Tonnelle Avenue, leading to a collision with a utility pole that sparked a major fire and injured the driver of the other vehicle, bystander Miguel Feliz.
When Feliz got out of his car, the four Jersey City officers descended on him, kicking and dragging him in apparent belief he was the man they had been chasing. The video showed Miguel Feliz, on fire, exiting his car before being kicked by the officers. Feliz was hospitalized in critical condition with severe burns and broken ribs after the encounter, his family said.
The four officers were suspended in late June 2017, then had their jobs reinstated, though they were on administrative duty, not active patrol. Jersey City spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill told NorthJersey.com at the time that federal investigators had asked the department not to bring departmental charges against the men, pending a federal investigation.
Previously, a union representative had said they were trying to put the flames out and pull Feliz to safety. At the time, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said the video appeared to contradict that claim and demanded they be fired.