LETTER TO THE EDITOR: The retrial of Corporal Webster

I’ve just never been able to handle the concept of coincidence, especially in a printed format. So, I hope that I’m not the only one who finds that it is extremely questionable how our liberal professor, Samuel Hoff [“Delaware’s criminal justice system gets needed scrutiny,” Opinion, Jan. 3], and the State News seem to have appeared in the same issue of the newspaper retrying Cpl. Thomas Webster. [“Conflicting views revealed during trial,” front-page article, Jan. 3, and “Trial Testimony” sidebar to article]

Certainly, Mr. Hoff isn’t so brazen to use anything other than innuendos and reliance of only “academic experts.” Coupling his remarks with the front page and subsequent spread revisiting the final proceedings of the Webster case seems a bit incongruous to inquiring minds. Why wasn’t the entire story told on this case?

Not once did I see that, after the incident of the August night in 2013, the actions that had been taken by the Dover Police Department or the prior

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Thomas Webster IV

actions of one Lateef Dickerson that fateful night. So, how about we revisit the entire situation?

Information coming to me says that Mr. Dickerson had, just minutes prior to Cpl. Webster’s kick, surrendered to police and been on the ground. As officers approached, Dickerson jumped up and ran across the street, where the second such event unfolded. Two dash cameras recorded the entire scene.

As per department policy, the incident was investigated. The camera evidence reportedly was given to a federal prosecutor who found no issue. It was then turned over to State Attorney General Beau Biden. Biden rightly presented it to a grand jury, who also agreed that there was no evidence of wrongdoing. The matter was returned to the Dover PD and disciplinary action was taken against Cpl. Webster, and the issue died. Since it was considered closed, the Dover PD discarded the second videotape.

Now, the rest of the story. Lt. Gov. Matt Denn, scared of being humiliated in a general election for governor by Biden, resigned his position and ran for the vacated seat of Attorney General Beau Biden. Whatever his agenda was, and many presume it was to get back at Biden, Denn chooses an obscure case that had been closed for over a year, reopens it, and then, empanels a grand jury. Not surprisingly, this jury found cause to charge Cpl. Webster.

With much heralding and stirring up emotions of the community about the legal system and law officers performing their duties, the case comes to trial. Did not anyone, including the State News, ever question why the state would bring such a case to court without its primary witness, Mr. Lateef Dickerson?

Oh, that’s right; Mr. Dickerson was unable to be found, and had he been found, would have been promptly rearrested on two other criminal charges that had taken place after his 2013 arrest, as well as a [capias] by the court system. Yet, no one could find Mr. Dickerson. Certainly, Matt Denn didn’t want him found, for fear his testimony might hasten the innocence verdict on Cpl. Webster.

The case goes to trial, and after extensive testimony and jury deliberation, a jury of 12 citizens finds Cpl. Webster innocent of all charges.

That’s not 10-2 or 11-1; that’s unanimous. Yet, the liberal mindset of “ academics,” knowing an inequity when they see one and a cooperative media, decide that their vigilante form of justice requires that the entire justice system is flawed and that, by selective reporting, Cpl. Webster can then be ostracized publicly.

From my perspective, there’s no coincidence in Matt Denn using this event to further his own career at the expense of a justice system outlined in the U.S. Constitution. I suspect that when Mr. Dickerson is finally caught and incarcerated, he’ll be used as a poster child martyr to a system the Liberals are seeking to destroy.

George Roof

EDITOR’S NOTE: Lateef Dickerson was arrested on a firearm charge early Thursday in Newark.

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