Fired Inkster officer under investigation working for Highland Park PD

It is the damning dash cam video from Inkster police showing a Detroit man punched and kicked by multiple officers.

Officer William Melendez, clearly shown throwing most of the punches at 57-year-old Floyd Dent, was fired from Inkster police last week.

But Melendez doesn't have to worry about getting a new job. FOX 2 has learned he already has one with the Highland Park Police Department. 

FOX 2: "Did you know about this video when you hired him,"

 "No this video is from January, he's been with us long time before this," said Todd Perkins, Highland Park city attorney. 

Perkins claims the police department hired Melendez as a part-time officer more than two years before the video surfaced.

Melendez has been on patrol and has now rotated to desk duty. Because he hasn't done anything wrong, Perkins says Highland Park has no reason to get rid of him. 

FOX 2: "Has he had any problems on the force?"

"Not that I recall," Perkins said. "He has not been proven guilty of anything, I know what it looks like on video and you have have to accept that  - which is objective evidence." 

Greg Rohl, who represents Dent, is flabbergasted that another police department would ever hire the embattled officer who is still being investigated by the FBI and Michigan State Police.

"I wonder what kind of insurance policy they have at Highland Park that would allow 'Robo Cop' to go rogue again there," he said. "I am very concerned, I think everyone would be concerned. He's already been fired from Detroit, fired from Inkster and both times because of egregious conduct.

"I don't know how desperate Highland Park is for officers, but it seems to me they could do a lot better."

This is not the first time officers' tactics have been questioned and offered cause for concern.

Last January Highland Park police officer Ronald Dupuis was caught on cell phone video hitting and kicking a car jacking suspect who was already contained and cuffed.

It is the same police department Melendez is now part of.

FOX 2: "How concerned are you that this may impact the perception of the Highland Park Police Department?"

"You're always concerned about perception because sometimes people say perception is reality," Perkins said.

Dupuis and Melendez are both still under investigation for the two incidents.

On Wednesday the judge gave the Inkster Police Department 24 hours to produce the full dash cam video. Rohl said the current video is an edited, five minute long version. He is waiting for the full 15-minute version.

Rohl told FOX 2 that he expects the full video to reveal some racially insensitive remarks and gestures.
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