|Geann Pineda |||Apr 21, 2015 03:07 AM EDT|
A Detroit-area police officer was charged with assault on Monday after a video went public showing him beating a man in a traffic stop.
The dash-cam video showed Inkster Police Officer William Melendez pulling out 57-year-old Floyd Dent out of his car and repeatedly punched him in the forehead. Dent appeared to be bloody after he managed to stand up.
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"The job of a peace officer can be dangerous," Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said. "But we cannot tolerate those who abuse their authority, violate their oath and prey on citizens rather than protecting them." Worthy added.
The incident happened in January but was only known when the video was aired by WDIV-TV on March 23.
Melendez, 46, had been fired and was charged with mistreatment of a prisoner and assault --- both felonies. He claimed he did not do anything wrong, but did not comment further.
His lawyer, Attorney David Lee has not made any statement either.
While Dent stands as the victim in assault charges, he will face charges as well for carrying illegal drugs. Dent claims the bag of cocaine found in his possession was planted in his car during the arrest.
A judge had already dismissed charge of resisting police filed against Dent.
"I would like to thank Prosecutor Kym Worthy for her courage and conviction," Dent said.
The dismissal comes in a period of intense national scrutiny on police procedures following a series of controversial cases of excessive use of force by authorities.
"It is a very stressful job where you have to make split-second decisions," Mr. Melendez said.
In the past, Melendez and another officer had been accused of masterminding a conspiracy to override civil rights of victims. In 2004, he was acquitted of lying, falsifying reports and planting evidence.
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