Verdict Watch – Former Cop William Melendez on Trial
William “robocop” Melendez is a former police officer for the City of Inkster, Michigan. In January, he made a traffic stop of 58-year old Floyd Dent. Floyd was driving on a suspended license. Dash-cam recorded Melendez dragging Floyd out of his vehicle, beating and choking Floyd while he is restrained by another officer.
Dash-cam video shows Melendez dragging Floyd out of his vehicle, putting him in a choke hold and striking him repeatedly during a traffic stop on January 28, 2015. While he is restrained, another officer tazes Floyd.
After brutalizing Floyd, he was charged with resisting arrest, assaulting a police office, and drug charges. Floyd claimed that the police planted a bag of crack cocaine in his car during the stop. After seeing the dash-cam video, a judge dismissed the charges of resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer. Prosecutors dropped the drug charges. The decision to drop the charges came after a lawsuit filed by Floyd was settled for $1.2 million dollars. At Melendez’s trial, Floyd testified that he has loss of memory due to Melendez’s beating.
Melendez’s partner, auxiliary cop John Zielenewski, admitted to sending and receiving racist texts using the “N” word and other epithets. Prosecutors subpoenaed the texts and one was revealed to say, “At least give me the satisfaction of knowing you’re out there beating up N’s right now,” to which Zielenewski replied, “lol, just got done with one.”
There is currently an investigation into the actions of other officers involved
Today during closing argument, Prosecutor Robert Donaldson told jurors there’s a key question for their deliberations: Was it reasonable for William Melendez to punch Floyd Dent in the head 16 times?
The jury met for about an hour and will resume deliberations tomorrow.
Some viewers might find the following video disturbing.