Detroit Suburb Raises Taxes To Make Police Abuse Settlement Payout

June 3, 2015  |  

Inkster, a suburb of Detroit, has announced it will raise taxes in light of a recent $1.4 million settlement over police abuse. According to Mayor Hilliard Hampton, the city, which is one of the few Metro Detroit suburbs whose population is majority African American, needs extra money in order to pay Floyd Dent, who sued the city over a videotaped beating.

Hilliard wants to enact a one-time tax hike this summer to settle with Dent. Under the proposed July 1 tax bill, it will levy 6.45 mills, city treasurer Mark Stuhldreher said. So for a resident with property valued at $40,000, it would equal about $130 more in taxes, he said.

The city’s liability insurance policy permits only for payouts above $2 million, Stuhldreher explained. But even though Inkster has a surplus and is not in debt, it cannot under law use its general fund to finalize such settlements. A tax hike, says city officials, is the only way to go. Hampton said, “Our options are limited.”

The city is looking to have the higher tax due by August 31.

The tax hike is a result of a ruling last week by a  judge who ordered the former police officer, William Melendez, captured on video striking Dent to stand trial on charges of misconduct in office and assault with intent to do great bodily harm, reports Detroit News. Judge Sabrina Johnson also allowed an additional charge of assault by strangulation, which is a 10-year felony.

In the video, Dent is shown being punched and choked after a routine traffic stop. It’s alleged that there were assault and drug charges against Dent, which prompted the officer’s action.

“Prosecutors dropped the charges against Dent, who claimed police planted a bag of crack cocaine underneath his passenger seat during the stop,” reports NBC News. “He did admit to driving on a suspended license at the time.”

Former Officer William Melendez, who was fired from the Inkster Police Department in April, faces arraignment in Wayne County Circuit Court next week.

So how many people are appalled that homeowners have to pay for this police officer’s gross misconduct? Not just us right?

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