4 Jersey City officers resign for assaulting innocent man on fire – News 12 New Jersey

4 Jersey City officers resign for assaulting innocent man on fire - News 12 New Jersey
4 cops charged in 2017 fiery crash lose their jobs, but will likely avoid jail time
(AP) – New Jersey authorities say four police officers caught on camera kicking a man after a fiery crash will not face jail time.

Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez says Tuesday that Jersey City Police Lieutenant Keith Ludwig, MD Khan, Officer Eric Kosinski, and Officer Francisco Rodriguez will not be sentenced to jail but will be prohibited from working in law enforcement in the state.

Jersey City officer will not face jail time in 2017 beating, dragging of innocent man after fiery crash

The officers were involved in a high-speed chase in June 2017 when three officers fired shots at the suspect during pursuit. The suspects vehicle then crashed into a car driven by Miguel Feliz-Rodriguez.

Both vehicles caught on fire. Video footage shows that when Feliz-Rodriguez got out of his car, he was beaten and dragged by Ludwig and Khan.

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The four Jersey City police officers charged in a 2017 incident in which gunshots were fired at a moving vehicle and an innocent man was beaten after escaping from his burning car have lost their jobs, but likely wont face jail time.

Officers MD Khan, Eric Kosinski and Francisco Rodriguez , as well as Lt. Keith Ludwig were terminated from the police department as of Tuesdays hearing in Hudson County Superior Court and have been barred from ever being employed in law enforcement in New Jersey.

Four police officers have been indicted by a grand jury for their roles in a six-mile high speed chase that left an innocent man critically injured.

The charges stemmed from the June 4, 2017 high speed pursuit of Leo Pinkston, who led police on chase that ended when he crashed into a vehicle driven by Miguel Feliz-Rodriguez at Tonnelle Avenue and North Street. The vehicles crashed into a utility pole and downed wires set them ablaze.

Feliz-Rodriguez crawled from his car with his clothes on fire and an eyewitness video captured officers appearing to kick the innocent bystander as he attempted to extinguish himself.

Khan pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in the third-degree for his attempt to cause significant bodily injury to Feliz-Rodriguez. Kahn could have faced up to five years in prison, but is expected to be sentenced to a period of probation on Nov. 8.

Kosinski pleaded guilty to endangering another person for firing at Pinkstons vehicle in the area of Carlton and Tonnelle avenues, risking injuring pedestrian and motorists. Kosinski has been allowed to enter the Pretrial Intervention Program and if he successfully completes a year of supervision, the charge against him will be dropped.

Rodriguez also pleaded guilty to endangering another person for firing at Pinkstons vehicle in the area of Tonnelle and Manhattan avenues and has also entered PTI with the same conditions as Kosinski.

Ludwig entered the PTI program without pleading guilty to a crime with the same conditions as the two officers above. He will also be compelled to retire from the police department. The cell phone video appeared to have shown Ludwig striking Feliz-Rodriguez.

The chase began when officers tried to pull Pinkston over near the Bayonne border because his car fit the description of one involved in a recent shooting.

Pinkston pleaded guilty to eluding police and aggravated assault related to the pursuit which left Feliz-Rodriguez hospitalized with severe burns. In March 2018, Pinkston was sentenced to five years in prison. He will become eligible for parole in February.

At Tuesdays hearing, Hudson County Assistant Prosecutor Karyn Darish told Superior Court Judge Mitzy Galis-Menendez that Feliz-Rodriguez had been consulted and approved of how the charges against the officers would be resolved.

This agreement is substantive in that it provides accountability for the actions of the police officers while at the same time taking into account the input of the victim, said Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez. It is the most fair and just resolution in a difficult case.

This is a difficult day for these four men who made a decision that allows them to move on from an incident in which they tried to protect the public and ended up losing their careers as a result, the Jersey City Police Officers Benevolent Association said in a statement. We will continue to stand with them and their families.


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