Something was off from the beginning of the traffic stop when two Inkster, Mich., police officers approached Floyd Dent's car with guns already drawn.
According to Dent, 57, when he was stopped on Jan. 28, officers dragged him out of his car, choked him, beat him, used a stun gun on him and planted drugs in his car. The entire incident was caught on patrol-car video, the Detroit Free Press reports.
"He was beating me upside the head," the 57-year-old autoworker told reporters at a press conference on Wednesday. "I was trying to protect my face with my right arm. I heard one of them say, 'Tase the motherf—cker.' "
As the Free Press notes, video shows officers approaching Dent's 2011 Cadillac with weapons drawn before they pull him out and push him to the ground. In the video, it does not seem that Dent is attempting to resist.
While Dent is on the ground, Officer William Melendez can be seen putting him in what appears to be a choke hold and repeatedly hitting Dent in the head. Another officer attempts to restrain Dent with handcuffs, but one of the autoworker's arms is up in an attempt to protect his head.
At that point, yet another officer joins in, kicking Dent, before another tases him in the thigh and stomach while the 57-year-old is handcuffed. Dent was later hospitalized two days for injuries received during the arrest, the news site notes.
The police charged Dent with assault, resisting arrest and possession of cocaine, which they say they found underneath the car's passenger seat. However, after taking a look at the tape, an Inkster district court judge threw out the assault and resisting-arrest charges. Dent still has to appear in court April 1 for the drug charge, however.
According to defense attorney Gregory Rohl, there are portions of the tape that have not been made public yet that allegedly show the police officers planting the cocaine. Rohl insists that his client was targeted because he is a black man, the Free Press reported. The officers involved are white.
It does appear that the video of the incident conflicts with what officers filed in their reports.
The officers claim that they trailed Dent after seeing him stop at a Motown Inn in an area that is known for high drug trafficking, the Free Press notes. Dent said he was merely dropping off some alcohol for a friend. Dent, whose license was suspended, allegedly then ran a stop sign, according to officers, at which point they attempted to pull him over, but he continued driving for a while before stopping.
Officers say that Dent opened the door on his side but turned his body inside the car, as if he were reaching for something. The officers say they asked to see his hands but he just looked at them blankly, "as if on a form of narcotic," before saying, "I'll kill you."
According to the Free Press, the officer who appeared to have Dent in the choke hold, William Melendez, has been accused of misconduct before, including planting evidence on suspects.
As for Dent, he says that he has not been able to work since his ordeal and that he has nightmares. "I'm just getting emotional because of where I'm at now," Dent told reporters. "The other day was the first day I looked at the video … I just can't believe it. "
Read more at the Detroit Free Press.