Officer Indicted On Assault Charge For Kicking Suspect In Head

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A Delaware police officer was arrested and indicted on an assault charge, Monday, Dover police say.

Police say Cpl. Thomas Webster was charged with second-degree assault, a felony, for an incident that occurred Aug. 24, 2013, in which he responded to a Hess gas station (now Speedway Service Station) to a call about a fight.

Investigators say Webster approached a man later identified as Lateef Dickerson, who matched the description of one of the people involved. Webster attempted to take Dickerson into custody.

Police say Webster and another officer held Dickerson at gunpoint before telling him to get on the ground and kicking him in the face. The blow broke the mans jaw.

Afterward, Dickerson was put in handcuffs and taken into custody. He was later treated at a hospital for his injuries.

The incident was captured on video by a Dover Police Department dashcam but that footage has not been released.

After the 2013 incident, the Dover Police Department placed Webster on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation and review by the Delaware Attorney General’s Office.

In March 2014, the Delaware Attorney General’s Office reviewed the case and found that there was “not a civil rights violation.” A grand jury did not indict, and in June 2014, Webster was allowed to return to full duty.

However, when the Dover Police Department completed its own investigation, it found that Webster’s actions regarding the incident were “outside department policy.” Monday, the Delaware Attorney General’s Office decided to indict Webster on second-degree assault.

Webster turned himself in and was released on $5,000 bond. Dover Police say Webster has now been placed on unpaid leave pending the outcome of the case.

“This is one of those situations where we investigated the complaint, we reviewed it, and we did our due diligence as far as taking the appropriate action as far as Dover Police Department is concerned.” Dover Lt. Jason Pires said.

Webster’s legal team contends that it is not the evidence that has changed that has permitted further review of the case, but the atmosphere surrounding police officers instead.

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