Worthy to announce decision on alleged police brutality

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

Detroit — Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has called a news conference for Monday to announce a "charging decision" in two separate, high-profile cases involving alleged police brutality captured on video.

Charges are being considered in the case of Floyd Dent, a Detroit motorist who is seen being beaten by a police officer during a stop in late January in Inkster.

Charges are also being weighed in the case of Andrew Jackson, a Detroit man charged with carjacking and whose arrest by a multi-jurisdictional, anti-carjacking task force was videotaped by a citizen Jan. 12 in Detroit.

Dent was punched repeatedly in the head by police and officers also are seen punching Jackson. Jackson has filed a million dollar lawsuit in his case.

Worthy's news conference is scheduled for 11 a.m. at her office in the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice.

No other details on the news conference were released. Worthy's office is not saying whether the police officers will be charged. The investigations into both cases were conducted by Michigan State Police.

On Wednesday, a police officer captured on video punching Dent during the January arrest was fired from the Inkster Police Department, according to a union representative. William Melendez was terminated after a five-day suspension, Teamsters Local 214 business representative Al Lewis said Thursday.

"The supervisor on the shift did his investigation and evidently found nothing wrong because Officer Melendez was on the road for another six weeks after that," Lewis said. "It wasn't until Dent got an attorney and all of the sudden the video is on TV that they decided to fire this guy."

Melendez remains employed as a part-time officer in Highland Park, Lewis said. The officer in the incident involving Jackson is identified as Highland Park Sgt. Ronald Dupuis, 42.

Dent and Jackson have been charged with criminal offenses surrounding their incidents.

Dent was charged with drug possession, less than 25 grams, in connection with the police stop. His attorney, Greg Rohl, entered a "not guilty" plea on his behalf April 1.

"An innocent man never pleads guilty," said Rohl after a court hearing that was attended by a crowd of Dent supporters. Rohl said there were about 11 officers on the scene during the incident..

Rohl, who is trying to get the video of the police stop Jan. 28, said Dent's fingerprints were not on the bag containing cocaine. Police have said they stopped Dent, a 57-year-old Ford Motor Co. employee, because he was in a drug trafficking area but Rohl has denied those claims.

Jackson, 51, who is set to go to trial in June is charged with carjacking a Detroit grandmother and her two young grandsons at gunpoint Jan 12 at Plainview and Evergreen in Detroit. During his preliminary examination March 3 on the carjacking charges, Jackson denied it was him.

After the alleged carjacking, Jackson reportedly fled the scene and was apprehended by several police officers assigned to the multi-agency anti-theft task force on Evergreen not far from where the original incident took place.

A resident in the area videotaped the arrest and police officers are seen on the tape kicking Jackson as he is handcuffed. Jackson has filed a $1 million civil lawsuit in the matter claiming his constitutional rights were violated.


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Detroit News Staff Writers Holly Fournier and George Hunter contributed.