Floyd Dent case: Michigan police beating video prompts protests
Michigan protesters are demanding that two white two policemen be fired after a video aired showing them beating a black suspect.
Floyd Dent, 57, was arrested during a traffic stop in Inkster in January.
The video shows an officer punching Floyd Dent many times in the head as he is held to the ground.
Recent high-profile cases in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City have made police treatment of black men a major issue in the US.
“I’m lucky to be living. I think they was trying to kill me, especially when they had choked me,” Floyd Dent told WDIV, the TV station that first aired the video on March 24.
“I mean, I was on my last breath. I kept telling the officer, <<Please, I can’t breathe>>,” he said.
A long time employee of the Ford Motor Company, Floyd Dent said he spent two days in hospital for injuries to his face and head.
Police initially charged him with assault, resisting arrest, and possession of cocaine, insisting they found cocaine beneath the passenger seat of his Cadillac. Floyd Dent says police planted the drugs at the time of his arrest.
The assault and resisting arrest charges were later dropped. Floyd Dent has no prior criminal history.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Inkster police pulled Floyd Dent over after he ran a stop sign.
In their initial report the officers wrote that Floyd Dent struggled and bit them when he left his vehicle, but the video appears to refute that account.
Inkster Police Chief Vicki Yost said Michigan State Police were investigating and that the officers had been sent on leave.
“Again, we’re going to let the investigation play out,” Vicki Yost said.
“We’re going to act accordingly. We’re not hiding from this.”
Inkster, a Detroit suburb of about 25,000 people, is 73% black.
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