Inkster police officer will go to trial for alleged assault during traffic stop

May 28, 2015

Credit taliesin / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A suburban Detroit police officer who repeatedly punched a driver in the head during a traffic stop has been ordered to stand trial on assault charges.

Inkster Judge Sabrina Johnson listened to the victim Thursday and watched police video of the bloody arrest, which occurred in January. The incident wasn't publicly known until WDIV-TV aired the video weeks later.

Separately, an attorney for Floyd Dent says Inkster has agreed to pay nearly $1.4 million to settle a lawsuit over the beating by Officer William Melendez.

The 57-year-old Dent says Melendez threatened to kill him before repeatedly punching him in the head.

Defense attorney James Thomas suggests unusual force may have been appropriate. He notes that Dent immediately opened his car door when officers approached and made suspicious moves.