Inkster Police Chief Vicki Yost resigns

Inkster Police Department has been under investigation since man's beating during traffic stop

INKSTER, Mich. - Inkster Police Chief Vicki Yost has resigned.

Inkster City Manager Richard March said Yost resigned on Wednesday and he "wished her well."

The Inkster Police Department has been under investigation since video surfaced of an officer beating a man during a traffic stop in January.

The officer, 46-year-old William Melendez, is charged with mistreatment of a prisoner and assault -- both felony charges. A not-guilty plea was entered at his arraignment this week and his bond was set at $25,000.

During a news conference in March, Yost said an investigation into the incident was started immediately after she was made aware of it.

"We started this investigation. We're not hiding from it. We will follow the facts and act accordingly," she said. "This is a self-initiated investigation. It is one that we started immediately when I became aware of the use of force and that someone was injured and went to the hospital. I did ask the Michigan State Police to conduct an independent investigation. I encourage everybody to await the results of that investigation."

Wayne County prosecutors said they didn't know about the beating until the Local 4 Defenders aired the video in March.

The victim, 57-year-old Floyd Dent, was punched repeatedly in the head during the Jan. 28 traffic stop. He was facing drug charges after police testified they found crack cocaine in his car at the time of the traffic stop. Dent maintained that the officers had planted the evidence in his car and he had no drugs in his system following the incident.

During a hearing Wednesday, Judge David Groner signed off on an order to dismiss the case. 

Melendez has been fired from the Inkster and Highland Park police departments. Defense attorney David Lee tells reporters the assault charge is excessive. He says Melendez is "upbeat" despite the controversy.

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