“You were so into your bravado that you forgot the eye of justice was recording you,” Judge Vonda Evans said to Melendez before he was sentenced.
Judge Evans of Detroit gave a powerful speech about racism and police brutality right before she sentenced a former Michigan police officer who she characterized as racist.
Officer William Melendez was sentenced to prison for the beating of an unarmed African American man.
The former Inkster cop was sentenced to between 13 months to 10 years in prison for the beating of 58-year-old Floyd Dent.
Dent was pulled over by Melendez and partner John Zieleniewski for a minor traffic violation back in January 2015.
Dent was put in an illegal chokehold, and punched in the head 16 times by Melendez, according to Yahoo News.
Dash cam video showed that the officers had attacked him, and fist-bumped after the beating to congratulate each other.
Dent was charged with resisting arrest and after drugs were planted on him – he contends – he was also charged with drug possession. After the video went public, these charges were dropped and the city of Inkster settled with Dent for $1.4 million.
Right before sentencing him, Judge Evans gave a 30-minute speech that scathingly critiqued the former police officer and called his actions “racist” and “disgusting.”
“I know that Mr. Dent would give back every dime of his million-dollar settlement to go back to where he was in his life before Jan. 28,” Evans said. “I wonder: What would one-half of that $1.4-million settlement awarded to Mr. Dent have done for the Inkster Police Department, training officers that wanted to serve and not hiring officers that didn’t belong? 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,” Evans said.
“The one image [from this trial] that stood out to the court was looking at Mr. Dent in his cell, shaking his head in disbelief of what had occurred to him,” Evans added. “If his conduct was indicative of what he was thinking, I would have thought this: ‘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 n*****?’.
Watch Evan’s passionate speech in the video below…
(Article by S. Wooten; image by #Op309 Media)