Michigan criminal defense attorney

Trial Begins for Inkster Michigan Cop Who Beat Motorist

The Trial Begins

The trial is underway for officer William Melendez. He is the officer who arrested Floyd Dent and has cost the City of Inkster and tax payers one million dollars.

Yesterday, the Detroit Free Press reported the jurors for this case heard two different accounts about what actually happened that January night.

The Trial of the Inkster, Michigan Cop

The trial started on Wednesday morning. There are currently 16 setting jurors. Four of those jurors will become alternatives. According to Michigan Live, the jurors are made up of 10 women and six men. Nine of the jurors are black and seven are white.

These are the jurors who heard two different stories of what happened in January. While the stories are different, there is only one video.

The Detroit Free Press reported that Melendez is facing “felony charges of misconduct in office, assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder and assault by strangulation.”

The Video

If you have not seen the video, you can watch it by visiting Inkster police fire officer in motorists’ videotaped beating. The video shows the arrest was taken from the Police dashboard cameras. It shows Floyd Dent being pulled from his car, put into a chokehold, and punched reportedly 16 times in the head.

Dent’s injuries included a fractured left orbital, blood on the brain, and four broken ribs. These injuries left Dent in the hospital for 3 days.

Michigan Live reported that Dent was then tasered multiple times and taken to jail. Dent was charged with resisting arrest and possession of cocaine. The charges against Dent were later dropped. Dent claimed the cocaine was planted on him by the police but that claim was never confirmed.

Melendez was fired from the Inkster Police Department only a few days after the video was released. In an article I published back in August, I wrote that the City of Inkster agreed to pay Dent 1.4 million dollars.

Two Very Different Stories

This is what the Melendez’s criminal defense attorney is facing as he goes to trial.

  • The Defense – The defense reminds the jury to stay open minded. The jurors are told that “Inkster is a very dangerous city.” According to the Detroit Free Press, the defense told jurors that Dent had been driving “erratically” and ran a stop sign. The jurors were also told that Dent reached to the right and the police could perceive as hiding evidence or reaching for a weapon. The defense also said that Dent struggled during the arrest, that there was cocaine found in his car, and Dent had drugs in his urine at the hospital.
  • The Prosecution – The Free Press reports that the prosecution has a testimony that Dent was not under the influence of drugs. During the hearing Dent denied having threatened the officers.

Summary

Police force or police brutality, especially police force against those of color is a hot button issue in our nation. Even Hollywood is weighing in.

In an article by BreitBart, Quentin Tarantino was quoted saying that police brutality “ultimately what I feel is a problem of white supremacy in this country”.

This topic is one topic that will not be going away anytime soon.

Your Turn

What are your thoughts about police brutality in our country? What do you think will come of ex-officer William Melendez case? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.

This article was published on: November 6, 2015 and was last modified November 9, 2015