Jury deliberations begin in Dover officer assault case

DOVER — Jury deliberations have begun in the trial of a Dover police officer charged with assault after breaking a suspect’s jaw with a kick.

Jurors began deliberating the case of Cpl.  Thomas Webster IV late Friday morning after closing arguments.

Cpl. Webster testified he didn’t intend to kick suspect Lateef Dickerson in the head during the Aug. 24, 2013, incident but was aiming for Mr. Dickerson’s upper body.

Cpl. Webster also said he feared for the safety of himself and others because officers were told the suspect was armed with a gun, and Mr. Dickerson was slow to comply with repeated police commands to get on the ground.

Prosecutors say Cpl. Webster acted recklessly and used excessive force.

Police dashcam video shows Mr. Dickerson had placed his hands on the ground but wasn’t fully prone when Cpl. Webster kicked him.

 

Randall Chase writes for the Associated Press

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