A police dashcam video released yesterday shows how three Michigan police officers dragged a man out of his car and mercilessly beat him, reported ThinkProgress.
In January, Floyd Dent was arrested and beaten by police in Inkster, Michigan. The dashcam video shows officer William Melendez placing Dent in a chokehold and hitting him 16 times in the head. Melendez says Dent bit him. However, Melendez never officially reported or took photos of his supposed bite wound.
Officers on the scene attest that Dent said “I’ll kill you” after being stopped. There is no audio recording to prove that claim.
Upon searching the car, police didn’t find a gun or weapon of any sort. They did, however, find a small baggie of crack cocaine under the passenger seat. Dent said the drugs must have been planted because he isn’t a drug dealer nor does he use drugs. A blood test given to Dent at the hospital found no traces or signs of drug use.
Dent was arrested for resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer, but a judge threw those charges out after reviewing the police video, deciding there was no evidence of either. Dent is still facing the drug charges, though.
Dent has been an employee at the Ford Motor Co. for 37 years and has no criminal record. Melendez, on the other hand, has a sordid past. While with the Detroit Police Department, the U.S. Attorney’s Office charged Melendez with “planting evidence and falsifying reports.”
“I’m lucky to be alive,” said Dent. “I think they was [sic] trying to kill me, especially when they had choked me. I mean, I was on my last breath. I kept telling the officer, ‘Please, I can’t breathe.’”
Dent’s attorney, Greg Rohl, pointed out the incident’s absurdity when considering recent national events involving police and minorities.
“In this type of climate, it’s just remarkable that these types of things still go on,” said Rohl. “It’s amazing. It amazes me. It’s shocking and disturbing.”