It’s an all-too-familiar story: On Jan. 2015, 58-year-old Floyd Dent was pulled over by a police officer due to a minor traffic violation in Inkster, Michigan. Dash cam footage shows former police officer William Melendez and his partner John Zieleniewski “dragging Dent from his Cadillac and onto the ground where they wrapped their arms around his neck and punched him in the head 16 times,” according to Jezebel.
Additional cops arrived at the scene but did nothing to stop either officer or help Dent. Officers arrested Dent for resisting arrest and drug possession after allegedly planting a bag of cocaine on him. Yet Dent sued the city of Inkster in May 2015 and won a settlement of $1.4 million.
Melendez was put on trial, and on Tuesday, Judge Vonda Evans sentenced him to 13 months to 10 years in prison, but not without an accompanying speech that made the extent of her disgust and anger very clear.
Evans recounted one of the most appalling moments of the trial:
“A video in the car shows the police officers fist bumping…as a celebratory act of bravery by the defendant and his cohorts.”
She also spoke of Dent, and what he must be thinking simply as a black man with a minor traffic violation: “What crime did I commit, being a black man in a Cadillac, stopped for a minor traffic offense by a group of racist police officers looking to do a ni**er?”
Disgusted, she concluded, “In 2015…how could this happen?”
Melendez and Zieleniewski showed a pattern of this horrific behavior. In March, Melendez texted Zieleniewski, “At least give me the satisfaction of knowing you’re out there beating up ni**ers right now,” to which Zieleniewski responded, “Lol, just got done with one.”
Evans alluded to the root of this issue, noting that if “we don’t invest in our police officers, we’re going to see more incidents like the one that I’m presiding over today.”
You can watch the entire, brutal takedown below:
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters