CLOSE
Leave a comment

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A white police officer in Delaware seen on video kicking a black suspect in the head and breaking his jaw has been acquitted of assault.

A Kent County Superior Court jury deliberated for about 16 hours over three days before acquitting Dover police Cpl. Thomas Webster IV of felony assault Tuesday. The jury also declined to convict Webster on a lesser charge of misdemeanor assault.

Webster quickly left the courthouse through a side entrance, avoiding reporters.

Webster, 42, testified that he didn’t intend to kick Lateef Dickerson in the head in the August 2013 encounter and was instead aiming for his upper body. Webster also said he feared for the safety of himself and others because officers responding to reports of a large fight were told Dickerson was armed with a gun. He also testified that Dickerson was slow to comply with repeated commands to get on the ground.

Dashboard camera video from another officer’s vehicle shows that Dickerson had placed his hands on the ground but wasn’t fully prone when Webster kicked him.

Prosecutors argued that Dickerson was not a threat when Webster kicked him, and that the officer acted recklessly and used excessive force.

Webster rejected a pretrial offer from prosecutors to plead guilty to third-degree assault, a misdemeanor, in return for surrendering his certification and never working as a police officer again.

Dickerson, who has a lengthy criminal history and is awaiting trial on unrelated charges involving stolen guns, was charged with resisting arrest after fleeing from the officer at the fight scene. That charge was later dropped.

Fred Calhoun, president of the Delaware chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, said the verdict shows the community has faith in its law enforcement officers.

“I think that it’s going to go a long way with my brothers and sisters that society has shown, at least in Dover, that they have had enough of being bullied and they have faith in the police and the job we do,” Calhoun said.

La Mar Gunn, president of the Central Delaware branch of the NAACP, called the verdict a setback for the black community: “I would just challenge the people to continue to have hope. … There are people who need justice to work, and this sends the wrong message.”

Meanwhile, prosecutors defended Democratic Attorney General Matt Denn’s decision to take the case to a second grand jury after he succeeded Beau Biden as attorney general.

“We feel vindicated by the fact that the jury took three days to deliberate,” said prosecutor Mark Denney Jr. “In light of everything, the new attorney general was entitled to have his shot at it … The second grand jury was a reasonable step.”

Denn declined to comment on the verdict.

Defense attorney James Liguori has said Webster’s indictment resulted from “state machinations” and an “abuse of power.”

Prosecutors first took the case to a grand jury last year but failed to get an indictment. The U.S. Attorney’s Office also concluded after a review that there was no civil rights violation. Liguori argued in court papers that Denn’s decision to take the case to a second grand jury with no new evidence was a politically motivated response to nationwide scrutiny of police encounters with black citizens.

Dover Police Chief Paul Bernat said in a statement that the department will evaluate the case and make a determination regarding Webster’s job status.

Webster has been suspended without pay since being indicted in May. In November 2013, he was placed on paid leave pending an internal investigation, which concluded that his actions were outside departmental policy. The police department has said it took “appropriate actions,” and Webster returned to duty in June 2014.

Meanwhile, Richard Morse, an attorney for Delaware chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union confirmed Tuesday that a federal civil rights lawsuit filed on Dickerson’s behalf has been resolved, but he declined to provide details.

Watch below:

Like BlackAmericaWeb.com on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

(Photo Source: Dover Police Department via NY Daily News)

Also On Black America Web:
Find Out What Your Favorite Celebs Did On Instagram (09/01-09/07)
10 photos

16 thoughts on “Delaware Jury Acquits White Officer of Assaulting Black Man [WATCH]

  1. Honestly on said:

    The supreme cave n!@@er scalia says black scientist are less qualified. Racism is embedded in these cave n!@@er like cancer and I hope it kills them. I hope the day comes when we can visit righteous retribution these neanderthal apes. They should have never been let out of the caves of Europe.

  2. Mrknowitall on said:

    Don’t come to my small state and think you can harm us. We sit on juries. The crook got street justice. The chump got chumped.

  3. This is why I keep saying that many of these blacks need to stop being combative with cops. When they say stop, STOP even if your right is being done wrong. When you get out of the situation, THEN YOU GO file charges with the city against the cop. Sorry but many jurors including many blacks are tired of blacks disobeying the law. Yes, many of these cops are overreacting but these folks are having no pity for someone who is disobeying the law either especially with our crime numbers in our community so high. Sad but true.

  4. Honestly on said:

    The cave n!@@er webster should have his skull kicked in. The cave n!@@ers on the jury was nothing more than a klan gathering. This is why I have no respect for neanderthal apes, even with video proof they pull this racist sh!t. This is why they are despised world wide. Karma is going to bite these cave n!@@ers in the ass. They should have never been let out of the caves of Europe.

  5. A civil rights lawsuit was filed on his behalf and settled. It’s sad to see over & over again what these officers are allowed to get away with. If we think/ believe what’s going on now is bad, get ready it’s only going to get worse. “Liberty & Justice For All”….. Smdh

  6. STOPTHEKILLINGS on said:

    of course the officer feared for his life. and he didn’t comply fast enough, he has done other crimes. what more should we expect. white officer, black criminal, hands down the officer is right. I don’t know what our world is coming to. all this racist behavior. how often do you see this being done to white criminals when confronted by the police?? oh no, let’s talk calmly to them and take them for a sandwich and a coke. these scaried officers need to get a new job….and these jurors, when the tides turn it will not be nice….

    • CYNIC13 because somehow a law MUST HAVE been passed that allows police to administer punishment during an arrest.
      They smile in ya face – you fill in the next part

    • Joe Somebody on said:

      Because Dickerson is a career criminal. Wanted in multiple gun charges. On the streets robbing other black people. Excellent police work!

  7. Joe Somebody on said:

    Excellent police work! ! Dickerson is a career criminal and got what he deserves. We need to stop coddling criminals in the black community.

  8. vernon thomas on said:

    unbelievable!!!! what video was that jury watching? was this a all white jury? I hope He has civil suit pending, to get some kind of justice.

Add Your Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

&pubUrl=[PAGE_URL_ENCODED]&x=[WIDTH]&y=[HEIGHT]&vp_content=plembeddf3ixunshlvk&vp_template=3854" ]