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Video shows motorist pulled from car, beaten by police

March 25, 2015

INKSTER, Michigan (AP) — A pastor leading a protest Wednesday outside a Detroit-area police department threatened to shut down the city until two white officers are fired for the bloody arrest of a black man who was pulled from his car and repeatedly punched in the head.

The march in Inkster came a day after TV station WDIV (http://bit.ly/19OCmzW ) aired police video of the January arrest of Floyd Dent, 57.

The video shows an officer punching Dent many times in the head while another officer tries to handcuff the motorist who is on the ground. Dent’s head and shirt are bloody.

“I’m lucky to be living. I think they was trying to kill me, especially when they had choked me,” Dent told WDIV. “I mean, I was on my last breath. I kept telling the officer, ‘Please, I can’t breathe.’”

Police treatment of black men has become a major issue in the U.S. in the aftermath of killings in Ferguson, Missouri, and in New York City. Inkster, population 25,000, is 73 percent black.

In Inkster, the Rev. Charles Williams II and protesters were told to leave the police department Wednesday because they were blocking the door. Chief Vicki Yost met them outside and said Michigan State Police would investigate the arrest.

“I understand your concern,” Yost told Williams. “Again, we’re going to let the investigation play out. ... We’re going to act accordingly. We’re not hiding from this.”

The officers are on paid leave, but Williams said they should be fired.

“We will shut Inkster down until we get justice,” said Williams, who added that the video “made me sick.”

WDIV said a judge has dismissed charges of fleeing and resisting police, but Dent still faces a drug charge. He claims the officers planted crack cocaine in his car.

Update hourly