A former Michigan cop convicted of assaulting an unarmed motorist during a traffic stop last year was sentenced to 13 months to 10 years in prison, NBC News reports.
On Tuesday, 47-year-old William Melendez was sentenced for the brutal beating, which was caught on police dash cam, in January 2015. The victim, Floyd Dent, was hit approximately 16 times and testified that he was choked so hard that he passed out.
Melendez was also sentenced to 90 days for a misconduct-in-office charge but was given 85 days’ credit for the time he already served.
Wayne County, Mich., Circuit Judge Vonda Evans reprimanded the former officer for his actions that day last year, telling him that he should have known better than to allow the situation to escalate.
“You were so into your bravado that you forgot the eye of justice was recording you,” Evans told Melendez. “You knew better. You were better trained than any of those officers out there. You were more experienced.”
Melendez ended up being fired form the Inkster, Mich., Police Department in April 2015 after the incident and then was found guilty in November of misconduct in office and assault with intent to do great bodily harm, according to the news site. He was not found guilty on a separate count of strangulation.
After the attack, Dent, 58, was charged with driving on a suspended license, possession of cocaine, and assaulting or resisting a police officer. Those charges, however, were later dropped. Dent has maintained that officers planted the drugs on him. Last May he ended up settling with the city for $1.4 million.
Melendez reportedly apologized to Dent and his family during his sentencing. “I am truly sorry that this has caused undue hardships in your personal work, and if you have any animosity toward law enforcement, that was not my intention,” he said.
Dent, for his part, said he had hoped that his attacker would be behind bars for longer than 10 years. “If it was left up to me, I would give him 15 years,” Dent said. “All the lying and humiliation and everything he’s done—he’s supposed to be an officer of the law.”