Inkster, Mich., police officers seen beating suspect: Will they be charged? (+video)
A prosecutor plans to announce Monday whether charges will be filed against two Detroit-area police officers involved in separate beatings caught on video
Detroit — [Editor's note: The original version to this headline misstated the city in which the incident took place. It was in Inkster, Mich. The Monitor regrets the error.]
A prosecutor plans to announce whether charges will be filed against two Detroit-area police officers involved in separate beatings caught on video.
In January, a driver was repeatedly punched in the head during a traffic stop in Inkster. That same month, a man suspected in a carjacking in Detroit was kicked and punched by officers who belonged to a regional car theft unit. Both incidents were recorded on video.
Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy has scheduled a news conference for Monday morning to discuss the attacks and possible charges.
Inkster Officer William Melendez has been fired, although his union is appealing. He told WXYZ-TV that "there are always two sides to every story." Floyd Dent's head was bleeding from his injuries after Melendez subdued and arrested him.
The Detroit Free Press reported that the Jan. 28 incident was caught on police video:
It which shows Inkster police pulling over Dent in his 2011 tan Cadillac near South River Park Drive and Inkster Drive shortly before 10 p.m. The two officers approach with their guns drawn. As Dent opens the door, they pull him out and shove him to the ground. Dent does not appear in the video to be resisting arrest.
As he is on the ground, a police officer later identified as William Melendez has him in a choke hold, and is repeatedly pounding him on his head. A second officer is attempting to handcuff him behind his back, but Dent has his right arm up, trying to protect his face and head against Melendez.
The Detroit Free Press reported on April 3 that ministers, civil rights proponents, union workers and others marched in support of Dent, who joined the group midway through the march. Afterward, he said he was filled with emotion at the outpouring of support.
More than 100 protesters chanted "No justice, no peace, no racist police."