INKSTER (WWJ) – A former police officer who was convicted of beating a driver in Inkster is free after spending more than a year behind bars.
A spokesman for the Michigan Corrections Department, confirmed to WWJ Newsradio 950 that William Melendez, 48, was released from the Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility in Ionia, Michigan, Tuesday morning.READ MORE: Michigan Public Service Commission Says The State Won't Be Affected By Gas Shortage
He spent 14 months behind bars, a month over his minimum sentence. The Detroit Free Press reports in October, the Michigan parole board granted Melendez parole contingent upon him completing a behavioral therapy program, officials said, and prosecutors objected to his early release.
Spokesman Chris Gautz says Melendez will have to follow some parole conditions which are expected to be outlined when Melendez meets with a parole officer.
Melendez was convicted of assault and misconduct in the beating of 58-year-old Floyd Dent two years ago. Dashcam video of the incident showed Melendez punching Dent him 16 times in the head after pulling him over for running a stop sign.READ MORE: Five Michigan Students Named 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars
The story made headlines across the nation as Melendez is white and Dent is black.
In November, 2015, Wayne County jurors found Melendez guilty of assault with intent to do great bodily harm and of misconduct in office, clearing him of a charge of assault by strangulation
Inkster later agreed to pay $1.4 million to Dent, who suffered broken ribs, blood on his brain and other injuries.MORE NEWS: Beaumont & Other Metro Detroit Clinics Begin Pfizer Vaccinations For Ages 12 & Up
Melendez said he punched Dent because he was resisting arrest.