- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 21, 2015

INKSTER, Mich. (AP) - A judge has entered a not guilty plea and set bond at $25,000 for a Detroit-area police officer charged in the beating of a motorist that was caught on video.

William Melendez appeared Tuesday in Inkster District Court, one day after authorities announced felony charges of mistreatment of a prisoner and assault against the 46-year-old officer.

Police dashcam video shows Melendez repeatedly punching 57-year-old Floyd Dent in the head during a Jan. 28 traffic stop in Inkster. Prosecutors say they didn’t know about the beating until a TV station aired the video in March.

Defense attorney David Lee tells reporters the assault charge is excessive. He says Melendez is “upbeat” despite the controversy.

Melendez has been fired as an officer in Inkster and Highland Park.

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