Michigan Police Shown Beating Unarmed Black Man During Traffic Stop

Floyd Dent tells his story to the media Wednesday at his attorney’s office in Novi, Mich. (AP Photo/Detroit News, Clarence Tabb Jr.)
Floyd Dent tells his story to the media Wednesday at his attorney’s office in Novi, Mich. (AP Photo/Detroit News, Clarence Tabb Jr.)

The dashboard camera captured Floyd Dent pulling his car over and opening his door. Soon, an officer pulled him out of the car and onto the pavement. Another officer put Dent, 57, in what looked like a choke hold and repeatedly punched him in the head.

Many more officers arrived and used a stun gun on the Detroit man three times before arresting him. His faced was bloodied and he was unarmed. Police said Dent eluded and resisted arrest, and they also charged him with crack-cocaine possession.

Video of Dent’s violent arrest by Inkster, Mich. police, released by his attorney and first aired by WDIV-TV this week, has drawn scrutiny on this small town of 24,000 at a time when video footage of police using force against unarmed civilians garners national attention. “I’m lucky to be living because I think they were trying to kill me,” Dent told the station. “I don’t even want to watch the tape of them beating me because I get upset.”

Inkster Police Chief Vicki Yost said they launched an inquiry immediately after the January arrest and they had asked Michigan State Police to conduct an independent investigation. She told reporters that one officer has been pulled from patrol duty but she declined to discuss the other officers involved in the incident.

“It’s important that the investigation takes its course,” Yost said during a Thursday press conference. “We are not afraid of following the facts and we’ll take appropriate action but it needs to be independent, it needs to be thorough and it needs to be impartial. I don’t want to rush any conclusions.”

Results of the state police inquiry will be forwarded to the Wayne County prosecutor for review of any possible charges, Lt. Michael Shaw of the state police told the Detroit News.

Dent’s attorney Greg Rohl released the police report of the January incident, and said he believes race played a role, telling WDIV-TV that nine white officers responded in all. In the report,  according to the Associated Press, police write that Dent pulled into a hotel parking lot, went inside for a few minutes, and eventually drove away in a neighborhood known for drug activity.

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SOURCE: The Washington Post – Elahe Izadi

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