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Man beaten by Inkster police hopes court will clear his name


Floyd Dent, the black man who was beaten and tased by white Inkster police officers, goes to court this week on a drug charge after the officer who repeatedly punched him in the head says he found cocaine in Dent's car.

Dent says the officer, William Melendez, planted the drugs on him.

TV news stationsare airing what appears to be dash-cam video of Melendez pulling a plastic bag out of his own pocket after Dent was arrested.  

In the last few days, reports have surfaced about previous lawsuits and indictments against Melendez for excessive force and planting evidence.

"I was quite shocked to hear all the things he had done," Dent said in an interview with Michigan Radio.  

"I mean, just think, the stuff he’d done to me, planting drugs, and the stuff he’d done over the years, planting drugs on people and other things, there could be some innocent people in jail because of that.” 

Inkster police pulled Dent over back in January, but some of the police dash-cam video of the beating and arrest aired on TV news this week and has gone viral, making national headlines.

Inkster police are conducting and internal investigation and have asked the Michigan State Police to do an independent investigation.

"I wanted my name cleared for the drug charges and everything," says Dent. "And I just hope the justice system, you know, and Michigan State Police find these guys guilty for the things they did, planting drugs and everything."

Inkster police did not return multiple requests for comment.  

Kate Wells is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently covering public health. She was a 2023 Pulitzer Prize finalist for her abortion coverage.
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