The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled that a former Inkster, Mich., police officer convicted of the brutal roadside beating of a black motorist during a traffic stop can serve part of his prison term in a boot camp, overturning a lower court judge’s sentencing, Reuters reports. 

William Melendez, who has been in jail since his Nov. 19 conviction, was sentenced in February to 13 months to 10 years in prison, with the possibility of parole after 13 months, the newswire notes. However, on Thursday the appeals court ruled that Melendez could serve part of his sentence at a boot camp facility, where prisoners participate in military-style exercises and work assignment for 90 days, before moving on to a halfway house, Reuters reports. 


Melendez was seen on dashcam footage assaulting motorist Floyd Dent. The autoworker was put in a choke hold and punched repeatedly in the head during the traffic stop that took place in January 2015. 

“We argued at his sentencing that he should serve far more than what he was given, and this decision adds insult to injury—literally,” Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement Friday. 

Melendez is still appealing his conviction on assault and misconduct in office charges. 

Dent has said he has suffered various ailments as a result of the beating, including memory loss. He testified at Melendez’s trial that he feared for his life and had begged the then-police officer to stop. Last year the city settled with him for $1.4 million. 


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