William Melendez had quite a long criminal record—for a policeman. Melendez worked as part of the police force in Garden City, Michigan. In his 15 years as an officer there, he was involved in over a dozen lawsuits alleging various forms of misconduct, including the use of excessive force, planting evidence, making arrests without probable cause, and wrongful death. In one 1996 case, Melendez shot and killed an unarmed motorist whom he had made lie down by the side of the road during a traffic stop. The city settled with the deceased man’s family for $1 million in a plea deal that allowed Melendez to avoid prison. Although this information was in the public record, that did not stop Melendez from landing a new job in Inkster, Michigan, a few years later. In 2016, he was arrested again when released video showed him dragging a man out of his car and beating him unconscious—after stopping him for running a stoplight. Inkster, like Garden City, also settled out of court, awarding the beaten motorist $1.4 million.
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