Four Jersey City police officers that were suspended by the city in June have been indicted for their alleged roles in a controversial police pursuit that ended in a fiery crash, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez announced.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Officers MD Khan and Eric Kosinski were both charged with attempted murder and official misconduct, while Khan received seven counts of aggravated assault – as well as two counts of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, Suarez said in a statement.
Kosinski was also charged with two counts of aggravated assault and one count of possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes.
Additionally, Lt. Keith Ludwig was charged with two counts of aggravated assault and one count of official misconduct, while Officer Francisco Rodriguez was charged with possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, two counts of aggravated assault and official misconduct, authorities said.
The four officers were suspended by the City of Jersey City back on June 12th and have now been placed on suspension without pay, city spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill said.
“As we stated at the outset, the actions taken that night required serious investigation. We took immediate and appropriate action and will now abide the judicial process,” Mayor Fulop added in a statement.
“Our internal investigation will now begin into all the actions or inactions of department members that night. We want the community to continue to have full confidence in the Jersey City Police Department and its officers.”
Jersey City Police Officers Benevolent Association Carmine Disbrow said the union, who has been feuding with the administration for months now, said the union is standing by their members until they have their day in court.
“The JCPOBA has stood strong since day one that our members, and every American citizen, deserve to avail of their right to a day in court,” Disbrow said in his own statement.
“We won’t let this be a distraction to the other important issues that we have been discussing and will once again bring to the forefront at tomorrow’s historic rally with the Jersey City NAACP.”
Tomorrow, the JCPOBA and Jersey City NAACP are teaming up for a City Hall rally at 1 p.m. to criticize the Fulop administration on what they believe to be a lack of transparency.
On Sunday, June 4, shortly after 11 p.m., Jersey City police attempted to stop a
vehicle in the area of Ocean and Cator avenues in Jersey City. The driver fled the area in the vehicle and was pursued by officers, officials said.
The fleeing driver, Leo C. Pinkston, 48, of Jersey City, was involved in several automobile
crashes. The first crash occurred as he attempted to drive between two lanes of traffic while traveling on Tonnelle Avenue, police said.
During the pursuit, multiple shots were fired at the suspect by Jersey City police. Several blocks later, Pinkston crashed his vehicle into another vehicle being driven on Tonnelle
Avenue, authorities said.
This led to a collision with a utility pole causing a fire and injuring the male driver of
the second vehicle.
A Hudson County Grand Jury previously returned an Indictment against Pinkston on August 23, charging him with eluding, aggravated assault while eluding, aggravated assault and aggravated assault by auto.
His next pretrial court appearance is scheduled for December 11 in Hudson County Superior Court at 9 a.m.
About two weeks after the incident occurred, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office joined the investigation.