Police in Inkster, Michigan, were caught on a police cruiser dashcam video punching and tasing Floyd Dent.
The incident happened on January 28, but the video (below) has only now been released.
In the video, the officers pull over Dent, and walk up to his car. Dent opens his door, and the cops appear to pull him out onto the ground.
Police reports and court testimony say that Officer Bill Melendez put Dent in a chokehold and punched him in the head 16 times, while a second officer tried to handcuff the 57 year old. A third officer arrived and tased Dent three times, noted ClickOnDetroit.com.
The officers claim that Dent threatened to kill them, but there is no audio in the beginning of the video to back up that claim. None of the police officers, all of whom wore audio recording devices, had their devices turned on.
Officers claim they found a bag of crack cocaine in Dent's car, but Dent did not test positive for drugs when he was taken to a local hospital after being bloodied by the cops. For his part, Dent believes the drugs were planted in his car.
Police claimed they feared for their lives when they pulled Dent out of his car because they could only see one of his arms.
Officer Melendez reportedly said that he punched Dent for biting him (while Dent was in the chokehold), but Officer Melendez didn’t get treatment for the alleged bite or take pictures of the injury as evidence.
Officer Melendez was indicted in 2003 by the U.S. Attorney's Office for allegedly planting drugs and making fake police reports while working as a cop in Detroit.
The Los Angeles Times reported that 17 officers, headed by Melendez, who was nicknamed "Robocop," were accused of "stealing guns, money and drugs from suspects, planting weapons and breaking into homes without search warrants, among other crimes."
Melendez was found not guilty by a jury in 2004 and left the Detroit Police Department in 2010 before getting a job in Inkster, which is a suburb of the Motor City, reports PhotographyIsNotaCrime.com.
Dent was charged with assault, fleeing and resisting arrest, along with the drug possession charge, but a judge dropped all the charges except the drug charge.
Dent has refused offers of a plea bargain.