34ºF

Former Inkster officer arraigned on assault charge in traffic stop beating

William Melendez was fired on April 15

photo

INKSTER, Mich. – An Inkster police officer was arraigned Tuesday after being charged with mistreating a prisoner for allegedly beating a driver during a traffic stop that was caught on tape.

Officer William Melendez, who was fired April 15, is charged with mistreatment of a prisoner and assault.

A not-guilty plea was entered at his arraignment. His bond was set at $25,000.

Melendez did not comment to the media. His attorney, David Lee, asked for people to keep an open mind.

"I don't want to harp too much on this, but he has been vilified in the media for at least a month," Lee said.

Read: Inkster police officer's union says his firing is 'political'

Officer William Melendez would not answer his door Thursday when Local 4 knocked.
Officer William Melendez would not answer his door Thursday when Local 4 knocked.

Floyd Dent, 57, was bloodied by repeated punches to the head during the January traffic stop, which came to light in March when the Local 4 Defenders obtained the police dashcam video.

Video: Violent traffic stop in Inkster caught on camera

photo
photo

--Floyd Dent

Inkster Mayor Hilliard Hampton said he's requested a detailed report from the city manager and city attorney by Friday.

"It's not over. There are still some things I believe we need to do … regarding who knew when and what, and what took place," City Manager Richard Marsh said.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said public confidence in law enforcement is "eroded" when officers abuse citizens.

Inkster Police Chief Vicki Yost said she still has the utmost confidence in her force.

"We have a lot of honorable men and women who work for this department, and they are out there providing the police service that they provided before and they will continue to do so because they're professionals," Yost said.

Read: Charges against Floyd Dent dismissed; Inkster officer charged