While Dent was being escorted to the back seat of a squad car, he told The Guardian that he watched as Melendez approached his Cadillac, pulled a bag of out of his pocket, and tossed it under the driver’s seat, which you can see at 3:55 in the video above.
“I saw [an officer] with drugs in his hand, and I thought, ‘Look at them dirty dogs.’ After that I just held my head down.”
Dent’s mistreatment didn’t stop there. A video was released showing a bloodied Dent being stripped to his underwear and searched. Though his pleas for medical attention went unanswered, Dent fully cooperated with the officers while they took his mugshot and fingerprinted him, all the while acting as if he’s still a threat.
Having suffered four broken ribs and a fractured orbital in brutal beating that left blood on his brain, Dent was booked and processed before someone noticed that this man might need a doctor.After being taken to the hospital by EMS, Dent says officers denied him use of a phone. A woman identified as Marlene called Dent’s family on his behalf, alerting them and their legal team to the beating and arrest.
All charged against Dent have been dropped and Officer William Melendez has been charged with assault to do great bodily harm, mistreatment of a prisoner and misconduct in office. Thus ends an illustrious 22-year career for Melendez, during which his brutality earned him the moniker of “Robocop”.
Officer Cedric Greer was responding to a man-in-distress call at a motel in Albuquerque when he found an intoxicated man sleeping outside of his own room. Greer, accompanied by a cadet-in-training, found a couple joints on the man and ordered him to sit up on the curb. Greer allegedly became upset when the man kept looking at the cadet and ordered him to look at the ground. When the man’s gaze remained fixed on the young cadet, the officer responded by shoving him to the ground, knocking his head on the pavement – after turning off his department-issued lapel camera.
According to State Police, Greer “struck the individual’s head several times with a closed fist and then delivered several strikes to the individual’s chest causing bruising. Witnesses claimed the individual was cooperative with Mr. Greer before and after the battery.”
Anthony Jones was in courtroom 702 in the Philadelphia Criminal Justice Center when a court crier asked him to take off his hat. Jones refused and after becoming upset was asked to leave. As Jones yelled and cursed outside the courtroom, “something obviously [mentally] wrong with him,” public defender Paula Sen, an attorney for the Defender Association of Philadelphia, tried to defuse the situation, “just trying to get people to act like grown ups”.
“It is ridiculous to think that I would jump into a fight involving at least six police officers and then just somehow fall. This young man was attacked. It was unprovoked, and I was collateral damage. If this is how these officers behave in the Criminal Justice Center with that many potential witnesses, how do they act on the streets when there are no witnesses?”
“‘On what grounds?’ Oh, I don’t know, I’ll think of something. How about aiding and abetting reckless driving?”
“Yeah, but you know what? I’m the guy that can make that record look dirty.”
“I wish to take this opportunity to remind you that the tickets you write do add to the revenue on which the P.D. budget is established and will directly affect pay adjustments at budget time.”
In Apple Valley, California, deputies were attempting to serve a search warrant for an identify theft investigation when Francis Pusok, 30, fled from the police. Initially driving away in a car, at some point during the nearly three-hour pursuit, Pusok stole a horse and attempted to out-gallup the 5-0.
Upon catching up with Pusok, an officer is seen on film attempting to taser him and the suspect falls off the horse. Another officer approaches and uses his taser on Pusok. As the first two officers begin beating Pusok, several others arrive and pile in, none of them showing any restraint before laying into the defenseless man like schoolyard bullies.
In the 2 minutes 11 seconds following the initial taser shocks, Francis Pusok was kicked 17 times, punched 37, struck with a baton four times and received a dozen blows to the head. Following the vicious beating, Pusok’s body can be seen lying limp on the ground for 45 minutes, during which time he received no medical attention.
San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon maintains the officers used force because the taser shocks were ineffective due to Pusok’s loose clothing:
“A Taser was deployed, but was ineffective due to his loose clothing. A use-of-force occurred during the arrest. An internal investigation will be conducted regarding the use of force.”
These four cases only serve to highlight the most egregious examples of cops flexing their ego under the guise of law-enforcement; they don’t seek to define police brutality or the officers who commit it. There have been dozens of incidents in the past month of citizens having their rights violated without so much as a warning. Take the case of Chris Hoglan, who was walking down the street late at night in Missouri when he was stopped and asked to identify himself by police. When he refused, flexing his rights, the police officer took him to jail. Or Viviana Keith, who was being arrested for public intoxication in Texas when her arresting officer slammed her to the ground, hitting her head on the pavement and knocking her unconscious – while her 6-year-old daughter looked on in horror. How about Robert Liese, who was beaten so severely in an Orlando jail cell that his spleen ruptured. Instead of getting Liese the medical attention he needed, Officer Peter Delio and his comrades took photos of Liese and can be heard on film joking and laughing about the man who’s dignity they felt compelled to destroy.
These are not isolated incidents. Some believe that the stories about bad cops are the anomalies; that every profession has its share of bad apples. The key difference is that when UPS hires a ‘bad apple’ and fails to properly train such an employee, customers’ packages don’t get delivered. When a police department demonstrates the same lack of due diligence, citizens’ lives and well-being are threatened, and sometimes, worse. The issues facing law enforcement are widespread and systemic; not anomalies.
Part Two: Killed by Police – coming soon.
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