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Michigan Autoworker’s Drug Charge Dropped After Video Shows Police Beating Him

While a prosecutor decided not to charge 57-year-old Floyd Dent for cocaine possession, the officer filmed punching him 16 times in the head now faces two felonies.

by VICE News
Apr 20 2015, 6:30pm

A prosecutor has dropped a cocaine possession charge against an autoworker from Inkster, Michigan, whose beating by police officers during a traffic stop was captured on dashcam footage.

While Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy dismissed the drug charge against 57-year-old Floyd Dent, William Melendez, a fired police officer, now faces two felony charges after he was caught on video punching Dent 16 times in the head.

Melendez pulled Dent over in March after the Ford employee allegedly failed to come to a complete stop at a stop sign in Inkster, a Detroit suburb. The dashcam video shows Melendez and another officer tackle, choke, and beat Dent after he exits his vehicle.

In a press conference Monday, Worthy said dropping Dent's drug charge was "in the best interest of justice." Dent claimed the cops planted the cocaine in his vehicle. The prosecutor said Melendez faces charges of officer misconduct and assault with intent to do great bodily harm.

"Public confidence in the law enforcement is eroded when police officers abuse citizens," Worthy said, noting that if video had not emerged from the scene "we probably wouldn't know about it."

Related: Video shows St. Louis County police kill man allegedly armed with knife and Bible 

New video from Dent's holding cell in the Inkster Police Department emerged Sunday. The footage shows blood dripping from Dent's head. He claims he asked the cops for medical help, but was put through the process of taking a mug shot while police documented his injuries before taking him to the hospital. He was ultimately treated for four broken ribs, blood on his brain, and a fractured eye socket.

At the press conference Monday, Worthy also announced her decision to not file charges against two Detroit-area police officers involved in another incident caught on video. The cops were filmed punching and kicking Andrew Jackson Jr., who had been accused of a carjacking earlier in the day. Worthy said Jackson was resisting arrest during the incident.