A traffic stop, police brutality, planting evidence and a policeman goes to jail. And for its reporting of the story, WDIV, Detroit’s NBC affiliate owned by Graham Media, was honored by the Michigan Press Association with the Wade H. McCree Jr. award for the advancement of justice. A Journey to Justice examined the traffic stop […]
And for its reporting of the story, WDIV, Detroit’s NBC affiliate owned by Graham Media, was honored by the Michigan Press Association with the Wade H. McCree Jr. award for the advancement of justice.
A Journey to Justice examined the traffic stop of Floyd Dent, an African-American man who failed to stop at a stop sign. He was pulled from his car, punched 16 times in the head and arrested for assault, resisting arrest and possession of cocaine.
WDIV’s reports showed the dashcam video and that one of the Detroit police officers pulled a baggie of cocaine out of his own pocket.
“Not only was justice served, but laws were created in the wake of this case,” said Kim Voet, WDIV’s news director.
As the result of the investigation, the arresting officer, William Melendez, was fired and sentenced to 13 months in prison. Two additional police officers were suspended and the police chief resigned.
A new law to track officers who resign under investigation is under consideration, and police departments across the country are reevaluating hiring practices.
“Hours and hours of work went into this investigative series,” said Voet.
The county prosecutor cited WDIV’s reports, saying she would never have known about the case if it weren’t for the station’s reports.
The Wade H. McCree Jr. Awards for the Advancement of Justice are named for one of the most venerable lawyers and judges in Michigan’s history. The Michigan Press Association Foundation has agreed to assume the lead role in conferring the awards.