Crime

Former Cop To Serve Time In Prison For Beating Unarmed Driver

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades
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William Melendez was a police officer with the Inkster Police Department in Michigan when he beat an unarmed driver, striking, tasering and allegedly choking Floyd Dent so hard that he passed out on Jan. 28, 2015. The entire incident was caught on tape by a dashboard camera.

Melendez was fired from his position in April 2015, and in November of that year, he was found guilty of misconduct in office and assault with intent to do great bodily harm, although he was acquitted of a strangulation charge, NBC News reported. 

On Feb. 2, Melendez was sentenced to 13 months to 10 years in prison, plus an additional 90 days for misconduct in office, although he was given credit for the 85 days he’d already served in custody.

"You were so into your bravado that you forgot the eye of justice was recording you,” Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Vonda Evans said to Melendez in court, according to NBC. "You knew better. You were better trained than any of those officers out there. You were more experienced.”

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This judge looked an inmate square in the eyes and did something that left the entire courtroom in tears:

Dent, 58, settled with the city in May 2015 for $1.4 million in a civil suit. He had been charged with assaulting or resisting a police officer, driving on a suspended license, and possession of cocaine, but those charges were dropped; Dent insisted police planted the drugs on him.

Melendez apologized to Dent during his sentencing.

"I am truly sorry that this has caused undue hardships in your personal work, and if you have any animosity toward law enforcement, that was not my intention," he said.

Sources: NBC News (2) / Photo credit: Jamelle Bouie/Flickr