Surprising news from Michigan: On Jan. 28, police in the Detroit suburb of Inkster were caught on dashcam dragging an African American man from his car, putting him in a chokehold, then repeatedly beating and tasering him because, they say, he was resisting arrest. We were surprised to learn that there's a Detroit suburb named "Inkster."

The rest of the story is entirely too familiar: The video has no sound, because the police camera's microphone was either not working or turned off, so we'll just have to take the cops' word for it that the driver, Floyd Dent, shouted "I'll kill you!" as they approached his car.

We'll also have to take the cops' word that Dent bit the arm of William Melendez, the officer who was choking Dent and punched him in the head 16 times. Melendez subsequently sought no medical treatment for being bitten, and didn't photograph the supposed bite marks, which you'd suppose would be evidence you'd want to document if a suspect assaulted you so violently.

Also, a baggie of crack cocaine was found in the car's passenger seat. Dent insists it was planted, and his attorney, Greg Rohl, says there is unreleased video showing officers planting the drugs. Officer Melendez just happens to have been charged in federal court with planting evidence and falsifying police reports in 2003. But Melendez was acquitted, so there's no reason whatsoever to think he might have done something untoward in January.

Floyd Dent is 57, has no criminal record, and is a retired auto worker who worked at Ford for 37 years. He also was tested for drugs at a hospital after his arrest; the tests were negative. On the other hand, he is black, has a shaved head, and was driving a Cadillac at night, so he had to be guilty of something that called for a beatdown:

Police said they first saw Dent’s car through binoculars while watching an area known to have drug activity. They followed Dent’s car and said he didn’t make a complete stop at a stop sign. Police said that when they turned on their flashing lights, Dent didn’t immediately pull over.

“When the overhead lights came on, I looked and said, ‘Wow, are they stopping me?’" Dent said. “So I just kept going until I realized that they were really stopping me.”

Dent said he didn’t try to flee police, and the video shows his Cadillac driving at a consistent speed until he pulled over.

The video shows Dent pulling over and opening his car door (possibly not a good idea for people wanting to survive traffic stops, unless he'd been told to get out of the car -- pity there's no audio). Police point their guns at Dent and then pull him from the car, throw him to the ground, and Melendez immediately puts him in a chokehold. Police claim that Dent refused to put his hands behind his back; he says he thought he was being choked to death and tried to pull Melendez's arm off his throat.

After viewing the dashcam video, a judge dismissed the charges of fleeing, assault, and resisting arrest; the only remaining charge against Dent is for possession of cocaine. Dent was offered a plea deal that would result in no jail time, only probation, and eventual expunging of the charges, but he refused it, saying he wouldn't plead guilty to something he didn't do.

According to the Digitas Daily video, Officer Melendez is currently assigned to desk duty, and Inkster police have requested that the Michigan State Police investigate the incident -- so there's that, at least.

Get ready for the usual rightwing response, as every detail of Floyd Dent's past and his behavior during the arrest is dissected to prove that he absolutely had every one of those 16 punches to the head coming to him.

[Clickondetroit & Detroit Free Press via Thinkprogress]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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We feel like we say this a lot during these dark days of the Trump era, but WHAT IN THE HOLY MOTHERFUCKING FUCK DID WE JUST WATCH? And how in the hell can anyone who claims to give a shit about this country be OK with the public tongue-bath Donald Trump just gave Vladimir Putin on live TV?

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Elon Musk, Space Trash Cowboy

Silicon Valley's most arrogant asswipe is not a baby, he just pays people to wipe his ass.

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STOP THE FUCKING PRESSES! Elon Musk has been wronged! Newspapers, throw away your front pages! TV talking heads, scrap your A and B bloc! Someone change the tickers in Times Square!


When Vern Unsworth, the British cave explorer who helped rescue the trapped Thai soccer team, told CNN that Musk's mini-sub was a "PR Stunt" that had "absolutely no chance of working," he clearly wounded Musk's delicate constitution. But then Unsworth had to go a step further and tell Musk to "stick his submarine where it hurts."

Musk responded like a fucking adult by Tweeting that he never saw Unsworth when he flew to Thailand to personally deliver his mini-sub last week, adding, "Sorry Pedo guy, you really did ask for it."

"Pedo" -- short for "pedophile" -- seems a bit harsh and also a tiny bit libelous. This caused the Twitterverse to lose their minds and criticize Musk for being an asshole (again). Since Elon Musk is a gazillionaire with tons of free tweetin' time on his hands, he responded to his critics by doubling-down, "Bet ya a signed dollar it's true."

Musk later deleted the tweets and retreated to the relative safety of his secret moon base. Unsworth is now threatening to sue Musk, telling a Australian news outlet, "This is not finished. I think people realize what sort of guy he is."

The whole ordeal started started when Musk posted an unnecessarily dramatic video of a small submarine built out of a fuel pod used in one of the Space X rockets. The idea of stuffing a child in a tiny metal tube sounded amazing to fanboys, but a number of people immediately wondered if the hastily assembled claustrophobia simulator was ambi-turner.

Maybe Musk is just butthurt over all that money he was caught donating to Republican pacs? Maybe he's just venting after the NLRB said Musk violated labor laws when he discouraged Tesla workers from unionizing? Maybe we should change those front pages once again!


[WSJ / NBC News / BBC / Business Insider]

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