Four Jersey City Cops Forced to Quit After Beating Wrong Man in Fiery Chase
Four Jersey City police officers are quitting their careers as part of a plea agreement in connection with a high-speed chase in 2017 that ended in another car bursting into flames and the officers beating its innocent driver.
The officers gave chase to suspect Leo Pinkston about 11 p.m. June 4, 2017, after he sped off during an attempted traffic stop on Ocean and Cator avenues.
During the high-speed chase, officers fired at the vehicle, which crashed into other cars during the pursuit. One of the cars the suspect crashed into on Tonnelle Avenue burst into flames after it was pushed into a utility pole.
The innocent driver of that vehicle, Miguel Feliz-Rodriguez, got out covered in flames. Officers are seen in a video kicking and dragging that man, thinking that he was Pinkston.
Cell phone video showed that Lt. Keith Ludwig was the first officer to arrive on the scene. He hit Feliz-Rodriguez with his foot, according to Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez.
Additional cell phone and surveillance video recovered from the scene also depicts another police officer, now identified as Officer MD Khan, running in and kicking Feliz-Rodriguez.
Investigators had to “review over 15 videos containing several hours of evidence, interview more than 20 witnesses and conduct a ballistics investigation into multiple shootings," Suarez said after the incident.
The four officers involved — Ludwig, Khan, Eric Kosinski, Francisco Rodriguez — agreed to give up their jobs and agreed to be forever barred from public employment in law enforcement.
Suarez said Feliz-Rodriguez was consulted on all aspects of the plea agreement and concurs with the resolution.