An ex-cop from Inkster, Mich. who was captured beating an unarmed driver on dash cam video will go to trial for misconduct and assault charges. In January, Officer William Melendez pulled Floyd Dent over for a traffic stop and things quickly went left. “I went to the ground, [and Melendez] started choking me,” said Dent during his testimony yesterday. “He choked me so hard that I couldn’t breathe…Then he started, he started beating me in the right side of my head.” Following the incident, Dent spent three days in a hospital and Melendez was fired. Dent settled a $1.4 million lawsuit against the city of Inkster. Read more.
Research Shows Racial Disparities in Minneapolis Arrests
New research released by the American Civil Liberties Union’s Criminal Law Reform Project and the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota illustrates a racial disparity in low-level offense arrests in Minneapolis. The data, which spans from January 2012 through September 2014, shows that African American Minneapolitans were 8.7 times more likely than whites to be arrested. Native Americans were 8.6 times more likely than whites to be arrested for low-level offenses as well. “Minneapolis police show the same patterns of racial bias that we’re seeing across the country and that demand reform,” said Emma Andersson, staff attorney with the ACLU in a statement. “In Minneapolis, the eyes of the law look at Blacks and Native Americans differently than whites. The resulting injustices – more fees and fines, more time in jail, more criminal records – hurt Minneapolitans and undermine public safety.”
DC Metro Bans Issue-Oriented Advertisements
The transit system in Washington D.C. has decided to ban ads from both buses and Metro stations that are related to sensitive issues. The decision comes after the group behind the “Draw Muhammad” event posted the winning illustration as an ad. Many people, including Muslims, found the ad to be disrespectful and offensive. “In the coming months, Metro will fully consider the impact that issue-related advertisements have on the community by gathering input from riders, local community groups and advocates,” said spokesman Michael Tolbert. “Metro will also carefully examine the legal concerns related to displaying, or discontinuing the display of, issue-related advertisements.” At the end of this year, the DC Metro board will assess whether they should lift the ban. Read more.