Michigan Cops Want In On That Whole 'Beating Unarmed Black Guy' Civil Unrest


It’s difficult to keep track of all the unarmed black men receiving treatment on a scale of illegal-to-lethal at the hands of American law enforcement. But hopefully you remember Floyd Dent. He is the retired auto worker who was pummeled by police officers following a routine traffic stop in Inkster, Michigan. In addition to the dash-cam video showing Officer William Melendez using his fists to protect and serve all over Dent's head, new video has emerged purporting to show the manly and tough Inkster police officers guffawing and fist-bumping about the savage beat down they just gave the 57-year-old man.

WDIV Detroit obtained the video, which the town "somehow" failed to turn over to Dent's attorney. The tape seems to show officers wiping Dent's blood off their persons, and joking and "pounding fists" in bro-tastic celebration, while one cop stages a "hilarious" re-enactment of the beating. This bit of theater results in a much needed laugh for everyone in the room except the injured Dent. There's no audio with the video, so maybe they were giggling about an old Jay Leno monologue. Maybe they were chortling at the officer's depiction of a scene from the department's favorite Oscar Wilde play. Maybe they were LOL'ing about how stupid Melendez was for allegedly planting crack cocaine on a man with no criminal record (while on video) who would end up testing negative for drugs. In any event, the laughter is real and taking place mere feet away from Dent, who claims all of this happened before the police called an ambulance to treat his broken ribs and orbital fracture.

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After the uniformed thugs beat, choked, Tasered, and mocked him, Dent was charged with assault, cocaine possession, and obstructing a police officer. Thankfully, these charges have since been dropped, and Inkster's interim police chief resigned in the wake of this mess. Melendez is now facing felony assault charges. This is great except that over the course of his career, the terrible officer has shown roach-like resilience in his ability to weather 12 lawsuits, including a 2003 indictment for planting evidence. While with the Detroit Police Department, Melendez's "aggressiveness" earned him the nickname "Robocop," although his behavior clearly does not harken back to the heroic cyborg with the tortured soul and unyielding adherence to the rule of law. Maybe things changed in Robocop 3. I don't know.

At this point, none of Melendez's cohorts have been charged or lost their jobs. So rest easy, Inkster.

[WDIV Detroit]


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