Former Inkster cop charged in beating released on bond (UPDATED)
UPDATE (7 p.m.): Former Inkster police officer William Melendez was released from jail after posting bond.
Melendez, 46, was charged in a traffic stop beating of a Detroit man in Inkster, had been held on $20,000 bond.
According to Wayne County Circuit Court, Melendez was released at about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Melendez was cuffed and held in a Wayne County Jail cell after he turned himself in and was arraigned on two felony counts in the beating of Floyd Dent.
Charged were announced Monday against the former Inkster cop for his role in the January beating of Dent, the entirety was captured on police dash cam. Melendez was charged with misconduct in office, mistreatment of a prisoner, and assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder.
Melendez's attorney, David Lee, said he hopes that the public will let the justice system run its course.
"He's been vilified in the media now for at least a month," Lee said. "I think he's as upbeat as he can be under these circumstances. My hope is that everybody will keep an open mind even though they've heard and seen some things that look pretty damaging."
With Melendez charged, Inkster Mayor Hilliard Hampton vows something like this won't happen again.
"We endeavor to take action ensure that circumstances that comprised the Melendez incident are never repeated," Hampton said.
The mayor said the city council has ordered an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the assault as well as the city's response. Plus, the city manager and city attorney have to turn in a report on what happened by Monday, April 27.
"There's questions that came to me regarding the video of Dent in the street. What about the other officers in that video? The answer is they will be under investigation as well," City Manager Richard Marsh said. "Where deemed appropriate immediate disciplinary actions will take place.
Also at question is when prosecutor Kym Worthy had the video. She said on Monday that she didn't see it until it was released to members of the media on March 23rd, even though it happened in January. However, court record contradict her. Chief Vicky Yost stressed on Tuesday that there was never an attempt to hide anything.
"On January 30, my police department submitted a warrant request," Yost said. "In it, we indicated that patrol car video was available. When the prosecutor's office requested that video, it was made available to her office that same day and it was made available prior to the airing of the story. If you look at the judicial record it was discussed at the preliminary exam."
That preliminary exam was on March 18 when a charge of resisting and obstructing against Dent was dismissed. Records indicate the judge saw the video then and the Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor on the case had seen it before then. And don't forget, the prosecutor's office had viewed the video and initially authorized charges against Dent.
With many questions still lingering, city leaders say they're headed in the right direction.
"I'm glad to see the process worked - I'm glad to see that justice is being served," Pastor Joseph Stephens said.
Bond for Melendez was set at $25,000 cash.