Jersey City, NJ — A high-speed chase in Jersey City ended when the car police were chasing crashed, turned another man's car into a ball of flames. But it's the chaotic insanity which followed the crash and the fire that has several Jersey City police officers' careers and freedom on the line.
Jersey City police were pursuing a criminal suspect and had attempted to kill the man by firing rounds into his vehicle. He fled, but crashed into another car which was pushed into a telephone pole.
The car the suspect crashed into then caught on fire. The innocent man inside the car was able to escape the flames, but not without injury. His clothes and skin were burning.
As the man scrambles to take off his burning clothes as he gets out of the fire, a bystander named Erik Roberto was filming the scene. Roberto screamed to the police, "Oh no...no...Help him out! Help him out!"
But they did the exact opposite.
"They didn't help him. They just started kicking him and dragging him...I don't think they treated him in the right way and that's not how you treat any human being in this world," Roberto lamented to reporters.
After police rapidly approached the man, with guns drawn, they began kicking him in the ribs and head, apparently mistaking him for the fleeing driver. It was only after kicking and beating him that they then decided to drag him away from the flames of the burning vehicle.
The actions of the officers are considered abhorrent by Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop who told reporters, "I don't think there's any explanation that would justify their actions...The entire pursuit that was previous to that fiery crash had questionable judgment calls by the officers, from the shootings to continuing to pursue the car..."
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The Jersey City Police Officers Benevolent Association (JCPOBA) president Carmine Disbrow issued a statement defending the actions of its officers.
As it should be, this entire incident is being fully 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.
We at The Free Thought Project beg to differ. It's obvious Disbrow didn't see the video we've been presented. It clearly shows officers, who would have to have been blind not to see a burning man, go up and kick him like a junkyard dog and drag his body like a dead corpse across the pavement.
The whole incident leaves many people scratching their heads in disbelief incredulously wondering not only why the officers would choose to assault a burning man, but also how any police officers union would dare to defend their actions.
The unidentified innocent man lives in West NY. His father said he suffered severe burns and is in a burn unit in the hospital. He also has fractured ribs. Mayor Fulop is now calling for the officers involved to be fired and possibly charged for the crimes committed against the innocent man.
His father called the actions of the officers an attempted "massacre" and said he'd just left home to go to work when the accident and beating took place. The suspect police were pursuing, 48-year-old Leo Pinkston, was eventually arrested.
The entire incident serves to illustrate how police officers treat individuals they suspect as having committed crimes. No longer are suspects innocent until proven guilty. All too often, as TFTP has tirelessly reported, cops comport themselves as judge, jury, and executioners. Mayor Fulop tweeted Wednesday, "This is unacceptable...We're IDing officers. We'll pursue termination + criminal charges as appropriate."
We will see.