Vicki Yost, police chief of Inkster, Mich., just outside of Detroit, quit her job, just two days after one of her officers was charged with assault in the beating of a motorist after a traffic stop.
The brutal attack on Floyd Dent, a Black man, was recorded on dashcam video. Dent spent several days in the hospital recovering from injuries.
Yost did not offer a reason for her resignation. She had called for an impartial investigation by the department’s internal affairs. This week she described dealing with the experience a “horrible nightmare.”
“The city would like to thank Chief Yost for her services and wish her the best in future endeavors,” said a statement from the local government.
Yost was named interim chief nine months ago after former chief Hilton Napoleon left in July amid city financial troubles, a police force reduced because of budget cuts and rising crime. Hampton at the time said the chief’s job “just became overwhelming.”
Former Inkster police officer William Melendez was videotaped by a police car’s dashboard camera viciously beating Dent after a night-time traffic stop in January.
Several other officers were involved in the assault. The video shows two officers throwing Dent to the ground and Melendez repeatedly punching him in the head.
The retired autoworker spent three days in hospital with broken ribs and other severe injuries.
Melendez was fired from the police department last week. On Monday, he was charged with assault and misconduct by the Wayne County prosecutor.
Police say Dent refused to stop and had cocaine in his car, but Dent has rejected the accusations, saying he was racially profiled by police for being Black. The dashboard videotape appears to show Melendez, nicknamed “Robocop,” placing a bag of drugs in Dent’s car.
Police mistreatment of African-Americans has been an ongoing concern. A recent poll found a significant distrust of police in the United States, especially among Blacks, who believe police unfairly target minorities and often lie for their own interests.
Dent’s attorney, Greg Rohl, commended the prosecutor for charging Melendez, but said other officers should be charged, too.
“I would like to see others … held accountable for their actions,” Rohl said. “Others stood by and did nothing or were complacent in trying to” frame Dent. Dent will pursue a civil lawsuit, he added.