A suburban Detroit police chief resigned Wednesday, two days after one of her officers was charged with assault in the beating of a motorist during a traffic stop recorded on dashcam video, according to Click on Detroit.
Inkster Chief Vicki Yost's resignation is effective immediately, city manager Richard March told the station. “The city would like to thank Chief Yost for her services and wish her the best in future endeavors,” said a city statement quoted in the Detroit Free Press.
Former Inkster officer William Melendez was charged Monday with assault and misconduct in office, both felonies, after he allegedly punched an unarmed motorist in the head more than a dozen times during a January car stop. Melendez was fired earlier this month.
Floyd Dent, 57, an auto worker who has no criminal record, was hospitalized for several days after the beating. Several officers were involved, using a Taser and kicking him. Melendez claimed Dent threatened to kill him and looked as if he were under the influence of drugs. Dent said he didn't resist.
Officers charged Dent with resisting arrest and possessing cocaine. The last of the charges were dismissed this week. Dent maintained officers planted cocaine in his vehicle.
The police dashcam video of the beating triggered protests when it was released in March, as well as scrutiny from the prosecutor's office. Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said she likely would not have known about the incident if not for the video.
Yost last month promised her department's internal affairs investigators would conduct a thorough and impartial probe.
Dent this week called the experience a "horrible nightmare."
Dent's attorney, Greg Rohl, commended the prosecutor for charging Melendez. But other officers also should be charged, Rohl told the Detroit News.
"I would like to see others ... held accountable for their actions," Rohl said. "Others stood by and did nothing or were complacent in trying to" frame Dent. Dent will pursue a civil lawsuit, he added.
Yost's predecessor as chief left the police department nine months ago. The department has faced severe budget cuts in recent years.
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