An unarmed black man who was repeatedly punched, kicked and Tasered during a January traffic stop in the Detroit suburb of Inkster has agreed to a $1.4 million settlement with the city, NBC affiliate WDIV reported Wednesday.
“Money isn’t everything,” the man, Floyd Dent, told the station. “You can’t buy happiness.”
Dent’s arrest on alleged assault and drug charges during a routine traffic stop continues to haunt him, he said. Dashcam video of the incident showed one Inkster officer, William Melendez, putting Dent, 57, in a chokehold and repeatedly punching him.
“Why you beating on me like this?” Dent can be heard asking after he was thrown onto the hood of a police cruiser on Jan. 28.
Prosecutors dropped the charges against Dent, who claimed police planted a bag of crack cocaine underneath his passenger seat during the stop. He did admit to driving on a suspended license at the time.
Amid public outcry over the case, Inkster’s police chief resigned in April, two officers were suspended and Melendez was fired and charged with misconduct in office and assault with intent to do great bodily harm.
A Wayne County district court judge was expected to decide Thursday if there’s enough evidence to put Melendez on trial. Dent began testifying in the morning, and recounted the night that he was arrested.
Dent earlier told WDIV that he wishes the beating never happened, although he’s pleased to see Melendez off the streets. He hopes to go back to work at Ford Motor Co., and get on with his life.
“I want people to remember me as an honest person — a person who told the truth, a person not scared to go against the officers that done this to me,” Dent said. “I want people to know that I’m grateful.”