Dover, Deleware - Officer Thomas Webster of the Dover Police Department was finally indicted for kicking a man in the face back in August of 2013. The attack was captured on the dash camera on another officer's car, which showed victim Latif Dickerson get kicked in the face by Webster as he was complying with the officer's orders.
Dover Police Lt. Jason Pires said that the department chose to release the video immediately after the indictment to "control the narrative."
"We released the video because the judge considered it no longer to be confidential. We're a very transparent police department, and we feel that we handled this situation properly," Pires said.
In the attack, Dickerson was knocked out and had his jaw broken despite never being guilty of committing any crime. Dickerson just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was on his knees with his hands on the ground when Webster delivered the jaw-shattering kick, leaving him unconscious.
Recommended for You
The case was taken before a grand jury in 2014 but the Webster was not indicted. The case was reopened, however, when the Delaware Attorney General's office took it before a second grand jury, who charged him with assault.
"We believe that the video demonstrates the need for large-scale reform of the Dover Police Department, specifically improvements to their use of force and internal affairs practices, and supervision of their officers. The people of Dover have a right to know about this incident and deserve a dialogue with law enforcement about how they can create a safe and equitable Dover community for all." Kathleen MacRae, executive director of the ACLU of Delaware said.
The Dover Fraternal Order of Police addressed the case in the following statement on Thursday:
"The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 15 takes great pride in protecting and serving the Dover community and does not take that responsibility lightly. We continue to support Thomas Webster and his family, but understand why his actions were outside of department policy. The Dover Police Department took appropriate administrative action upon completion of its investigation. A grand jury failed to indict Webster in March of 2014. The United States Attorney's Office decided that Webster did not violate the subject's civil rights. The decision by the Delaware Attorney General's Office to take the case before a second grand jury over a year after the initial grand jury presentment, without new evidence is puzzling. However, we will allow the justice system to work appropriately. We will not have any further comment at this time."
Webster turned himself in on May 4, 2015 and was released on a $5,000 bond shortly after.
John Vibes is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war. In addition to his writing and activist work he organizes a number of large events including the Free Your Mind Conference, which features top caliber speakers and whistle-blowers from all over the world. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can find his 65 chapter Book entitled “Alchemy of the Timeless Renaissance” at bookpatch.com.