Racist cop sentenced in beating of innocent Black man in Michigan

Former police officer William Melendez(Image Source: INkster Police Department)
Former police officer William Melendez(Image Source: INkster Police Department)

The story of Floyd Dent, who was beaten by racist Inkster, Michigan police, is finally getting justice. Dent was the target of a traffic stop and beating when he made a wrong turn and got lost driving through the city of Inkster. He was in his Cadillac when he was stopped by police for running a stop sign. Dent is seen in police dash-cam video driving at a normal rate of speed and stopping for police when he noticed their flashing blue lights. What happened next brings to mind the infamous Rodney King video as police punch, choke and taser Dent and a total of six police officers jump on the man.

Floyd Dent (YouTube Screen Shot)
Floyd Dent (YouTube Screen Shot)

One officer identified as William Melendez took particular delight in putting Dent in a chokehold and delivered a series of 16 blows to his head and face until Dent was knocked out. The entire incident was caught on police dash cam video. Dent was charged with resisting arrest, assault on police officers and possession of crack cocaine. In addition, he denied possession of crack and it was revealed that Melendez was once accused of planting drugs on a suspect. He was offered a plea deal for possession of crack and ordered to pay a fine. Dent refused and demanded a blood test, which showed he had no drugs in his system. All charges against Dent were dropped and he received a $1.4 million settlement against the city of Inkster.

In April 2015, Melendez was fired by the department and was charged with misconduct in office and assault with intent to do great bodily harm in the Dents case. He was found guilty by a jury in November 2015 and finally sentenced this past Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016. Judge Vonda Evans of the Wayne County Circuit Court delivered a sentence and a verbal lashing to Melendez. She stated, “You were so into your bravado that you forgot the eye of justice was recording you. You knew better. You were better trained than any of those officers out there. You were more experienced.”

Melendez was sentenced to 13 months to 10 years in prison on the assault charges and 90 days on misconduct in office charge. He issued the following apology before the sentence was delivered: “I am truly sorry that this has caused undue hardships in your [Dent] personal work, and if you have any animosity toward law enforcement, that was not my intention.”

But Floyd Dent was dissatisfied with the result of the sentencing and stated to media, “If it was left up to me, I would give him 15 years. All the lying and humiliation and everything he’s done. He’s supposed to be an officer of the law.”

Judge Vonda Evans of the Wayne County Circuit Court in Michigan gave a firm scolding to racist cop William Melendez

Mo Barnes
Mo Barnes

Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician. He has been writing for Rolling Out since 2014. Whether it means walking through a bloody police shooting to help a family find justice or showing the multifaceted talent of the Black Diaspora I write the news.



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