Inkster, Michigan – In a recently released video, a police dashcam appears to show an Inkster police officer brutally beating Floyd Dent for no reason after he was pulled over for rolling through a stop sign, and not immediately stopping for the police. It is an unfortunate fact that there are some officers that should not wear a badge – and this is an example of one of them.
The Floyd Dent incident
The incident occurred on January 28. Officer William Melendez watched as Floyd Dent, 57, parked at a hotel, entered, and came out soon after. After Dent returned to his car and started driving, he then rolled through a stop sign. Police flipped on their lights. Though Mr. Dent did not immediately stop, he eventually did, and never increased his speed in an attempt to flee.
The police officer dragged Mr. Dent out of the car, initiated a chokehold and immediately began punching him in the head. He hit Mr. Dent 16 times. Mr. Dent cried out “I can’t breathe” and tried to move the officer’s arm from his throat, but the beating continued. A veritable “parade” of police officers showed up at that point, but none stopped the beating.
All charges against Mr. Dent for “resisting arrest”, “eluding”, “cocaine” and threats were dismissed by a judge. He had been an employee of Ford Motor company for many years and had no criminal record. No weapon was found in the vehicle.
Melendez said he began to follow Dent’s vehicle after Dent parked at a hotel, went inside, and came out soon after, according to The Associated Press. He said he pulled Dent over after he rolled through a stop sign, and that when he approached Dent’s vehicle, Dent threatened to kill him. The officers also said they found a bag of crack cocaine in the vehicle.
Dent, who was reportedly unarmed, denied there were drugs in the car. He also said he was simply trying to defend himself from Melendez’s blows.
Melendez has reportedly been accused of planting weapons and stealing drugs, money and guns from suspects in the past, when he worked as an officer in Detroit. He was sued four times for using abusive force as a Detroit officer, and lawsuits against him have cost the city more than $1 million, according to a Los Angeles Times article from 2003.
Dent says he went to the hospital and was treated for broken ribs as well as having “blood on his brain” and other injuries, The Associated Press reports.
“Police Brutality”…”Excessive Force”
Why a policeman would do this is beyond comprehension, especially when he knew he was on camera. His own dashcam, to be exact.
Michigan State Police is conducting an investigation, as well as an Internal Affairs Investigation at the Inkster Police Department.
There are two obvious questions –
1. Why did the city of Inkster hire someone with a history of brutality and violence that cost previous employers a great deal of money?
2. Why did so many officers come to the scene and no one step in to stop something that was so openly out of control?
Whether or not it was true that Mr. Dent threatened to “kill” the officers, he had no apparent ability to carry out that threat. He was literally dragged out of the car and shoved to the pavement. All police officers receive a bad name when this kind of situation occurs. Melendez’ colleagues should have stopped the beating. Integrity demanded it.