A Detroit-area police chief has resigned, two days after one of the department's officers was charged over the beating of a black driver in January that was caught on video.
On Monday, prosecutors charged former Inkster officer William Melendez, 46, with misconduct and assault in the beating of Floyd Dent, who is African-American. Inkster Chief Vicki Yost resigned Wednesday.
The development in the city of Inkster, located about 20 miles west of Detroit, was the latest resignation of a police chief following allegations of excessive force used by officers, particularly against minorities, which have sparked protests and unrest in cities across the U.S.
The charges against Melendez follow the release of footage in which the former officer can be seen approaching Dent's car with his gun drawn before the door opens and his partner pulls Dent out.
Melendez then wraps an arm around Dent's neck and punches him on the head while his partner handcuffs him. Dent, 57, said police physically abused him and planted cocaine in his car after the traffic stop. The Detroit Free Press reported that a cocaine possession charge against Dent was also dismissed on Wednesday.
"I'm lucky to be living. I think they was trying to kill me, especially when they had choked me," Dent told Detroit television station WDIV in March. "I mean, I was on my last breath. I kept telling the officer, 'Please, I can't breathe.'"
After the video surfaced, Yost met in public with protesters and said she understood their concerns. A statement from the city of Inkster on Wednesday thanked Yost for her work and said that Yost's resignation was effective immediately, though it did not specifically mention the beating case, the Detroit Free Press reported.
In March, Melendez testified at a hearing on Dent's drug charge that Dent ran a stop sign after leaving a motel known for drug activity and threatened him and his partner when he was pulled over.
Melendez, who was fired from the department earlier this month, was charged with misconduct in office, mistreatment of a prisoner and assault with intent to do bodily harm. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison.
In March, former Ferguson, Missouri Police Chief Thomas Jackson resigned, following a scathing U.S. Justice Department report that found widespread abuses and racial bias in the city's police department and municipal court.
The killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed black man, by white police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson last summer sparked angry demonstrations across the country, which have been repeatedly reignited by subsequent police killings of minorities.
Al Jazeera and wire services