Ex-Inkster cop in court on charges in motorist beating
Detroit — A former Inkster police officer who was captured on video beating a motorist had a not-guilty plea entered on his behalf Friday during a brief arraignment.
Circuit Court Judge James Chylinski entered the not guilty plea on William Melendez's behalf and scheduled a 9 a.m. June 26 calendar conference hearing. Bond was continued.
Melendez is due back in court for the calendar conference hearing before Judge Vonda Evans.
The former police officer was bound over for trial late last month on charges of misconduct in office, assault with intent to do great bodily harm, and strangulation, a 10-year felony.
Motorist Floyd Dent was the only witness called during Melendez's earlier preliminary examination in 22nd District Court. Dent described the Jan. 28 traffic stop in his testimony and said he still suffers from injuries sustained during the beating, including broken bones, blood on the brain and memory loss.
Melendez previously has said he found cocaine on Dent during the arrest. The motorist was charged with drug possession and resisting and obstructing. Both charges were later dismissed.
Meanwhile, Dent has settled with the city for nearly $1.4 million over the incident.
Melendez was fired last month from the Inkster department. Also last month, Inkster Officer Chuck Randazzo was suspended for 15 days and Sgt. Shawn Kritzer was suspended for 30 days for their alleged involvement in the arrest.
Meanwhile, a separate lawsuit, filed last month in federal court by Northville resident William Kirk, claims Melendez and fellow Inkster cop Brian Shafer unnecessarily used a stun gun and assaulted him while he was in a holding cell awaiting trial on car theft charges on June 6, 2014.
The lawsuit also claims Inkster police conspired to hold off taking Kirk's booking photo so his injuries would not be seen.