Inkster’s new police chief, William Riley, was sworn in this week to replace Vicki Yost. Yost resigned only days after an Inkster police officer was charged with beating a motorist. This assault charge led to a $1.4 million settlement that was reached between the motorist, Floyd Dent and the City of Inkster.
Michigan Live reported that in January of this year, Inkster Police Officer Melendez was performing surveillance on a motel. The motel was believed to be a place frequented by drug addicts, drug dealers, and prostitutes.
Melendez followed Dent after he left the motel. After Dent committed a traffic violation, Melendez sought to pull him over. Dent reported slowing down to look for a well-lit area to pull over. Michigan Live reports this only being about 30 seconds before parking.
The dash-cam showed a video of Melendez tackling Dent, repeatedly punching him in the head, and choking him. You can view that video via the Detroit Free Press. Melendez reported that Dent threatened to kill him, struggled, and bit his arm.
Dent was charged with resisting arrest or assaulting a police officer, according to Michigan Live, as well as cocaine possession. Dent claimed that the cocaine had been planted on him by one of the Inkster police officers and that he had never taken or possessed cocaine. During the preliminary hearing, according to a test taken after the arrest, it was revealed that Dent did have cocaine in his system.
The charges against Dent were dropped. The City of Inkster agreed to pay $1.4 million to Dent.
The Detroit Free Press reported that William Melendez was charged with “misconduct in office, assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder and assault by strangulation.” He was also fired from the Inkster police force after the video was published.
A few days later, the city’s police chief Vicki Yost resigned.
Vicki Yost Resigns
The Detroit News reported that Yost and the city officials disagreed with how to “run the department in the wake of the videotape arrest.” When she offered her resignation, she gave a 30 day notice. However, the city opted for her to have an immediate resignation.
According to another article by the Detroit News, Yost was an interim chief and had only been chief for the last nine months. The Inkster Police Department has had a lot of turnover in the chief position.
William Riley III Becomes Police Chief
The new Inkster Police Chief has an impressive resume. Here are some of the highlights:
- Chief of the Selma, Alabama since 2008. *Michigan Live notes the importance of Selma during the Civil Rights movement in 1965. There were numerous protests during that time about black voting rights. The city is also known for the historic march from Selma to Birmingham, Alabama.
- 25 years of law enforcement and military experience.
- Has supervised 55 officers and 46 civilian employees in Selma.
- Served in the U.S. Navy and Naval reserves from 1997- 2003.
Riley’s online resume.
After the ceremony, Riley told Local 4 – ClickOnDetroit, “I’m the type of person that when I come in and I take over something, I’m going to take it over to get it done right. I’m not going to take a whole lot of excuses. I don’t come in to say, ‘Hey, I’m the answer to it all,’ but I do come in knowing everybody has to work together.”
Tax Payers Shoulder the Burden
According to an article published back in June by the Detroit Free Press, to help pay Dent, the City Treasurer Mark Stuhldreher reported that Inkster will have to raise the summer tax bill. The Free Press estimates that property owners will have to pay $178.67 more on a home worth $55,400.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that $55,400 is the median value of a home in Inkster. Inkster is a city where 38% of its residents live below the poverty line. The Detroit Free Press reports that the median household income in Inkster is $26,512.
The ushering in of a new police chief will hopefully bring about the change and hope that the city of Inkster needs.
Do you believe that William Riley will help turn the Inkster Police Department around?