DETROIT (AP) — A driver punched in the head 16 times by a Detroit-area police officer has told a judge that he was pulled over because he was a “Black man in a Cadillac.”
William Melendez will be sentenced Tuesday for assault and misconduct. He was an Inkster police officer a year ago when he stopped Floyd Dent, who was pulled from his car and repeatedly punched in the head.
The 58-year-old Dent suffered broken ribs, blood on his brain and other injuries. The incident wasn’t made public until dashcam video was aired by a TV station.
Dent’s niece read his statement in court before a lunch break.
Melendez declined to testify at trial. He was fired after WDIV-TV aired the video last March. Inkster agreed to pay $1.4 million to Dent.