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Inkster police officer charged in motorist assault


UPDATE: Highland Park's police chief Kevin Coney has sent out a press release about Officer William Melendez's employment status with department.

It says part-time officer Melendez "has not worked in quite some time, a period exceeding 60 days, [and] shall not return to any role or have any active role within the police department, pending the outcome of the recently charged case."  

Wayne County prosecutors are charging an Inkster police officer with assault and mistreatment of a prisoner, after police dash camera video captured Officer William Melendez repeatedly punching Floyd Dent in the head as he lay on the ground.

Those two charges carry a combined maximum of 15 years in prison.

Dash camera videoof the January 28 traffic stop went viral. It shows police pulling over Floyd Dent and approaching his car. Dent opens the driver door and one officer appears to draw his gun.

Dent is pulled from the vehicle and onto the ground and is repeatedly punched in the head. His attorney says he was later hospitalized with serious injuries, including broken ribs.

Dent was charged with resisting arrest and cocaine possession.

A judge dropped the resisting arrest charge, and Dent claimed that police had planted the cocaine on him.

Today, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy says she will be dropping the cocaine charge.

Officer Melendez was fired from the Inkster Police Department April 15.  

Melendez is reportedly still working as a part-time police officer with Highland Park’s police force. An email to police administration wasn’t returned.

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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