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The ex-Michigan cop convicted in the beating of an unarmed driver during a traffic stop last year was sentenced Tuesday to 13 months to 10 years in prison.
William Melendez, 47, was caught on police dashboard camera in the January 2015 assault against driver Floyd Dent, who was hit 16 times and testified that he was choked so hard he passed out.
Melendez during his hearing was also sentenced to 90 days on a misconduct in office charge. He was already given 85 days credit for time served, reported NBC affiliate WDIV.
From the bench Tuesday, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Vonda Evans admonished Melendez for an incident that seemed to spiral out of control from a simple traffic stop.
"You were so into your bravado that you forgot the eye of justice was recording you," Evans said. "You knew better. You were better trained than any of those officers out there. You were more experienced."
Melendez, who was fired from the Inkster Police Department last April, was found guilty in November of misconduct in office and assault with intent to do great bodily harm.
The jury, however, found him not guilty of a separate count of strangulation. The jury had nine black jurors and seven white jurors — four of those jurors were selected as alternates, although it was unclear which ones.
Dent, a 58-year-old Ford Motor Co. worker, was initially charged with driving on a suspended license, possession of cocaine and assaulting or resisting a police officer. But those charges were later dropped.
Dent has maintained police planted the cocaine on him.
He settled a civil suit with the city of Inkster in May for $1.4 million, and amid the public outcry in the case, the city's police chief resigned, two officers were suspended and Melendez was fired.
The incident was widely cited last year amid the renewed national focus on police brutality in minority communities.
Melendez on Tuesday apologized during his sentencing to Floyd and his family.
"I am truly sorry that this has caused undue hardships in your personal work, and if you have any animosity toward law enforcement, that was not my intention," Melendez said.
Floyd later told WDIV that he hoped Melendez would have been thrown behind bars for longer than 10 years.
"If it was left up to me, I would give him 15 years," Dent said. "All the lying and humiliation and everything he’s done — he’s supposed to be an officer of the law."