- Associated Press - Thursday, January 7, 2016

DOVER, Del. (AP) - A man who was seen on a dashboard camera video being kicked in the head by a Delaware police office was arrested Thursday on gun charges.

Delaware State Police said Lateef Dickerson, 31, and two other men were taken into custody Thursday morning in Newark after police stopped their vehicle following a traffic violation.

Officers determined that Dickerson and Taron Hampton were both active probationers and both the subject of outstanding warrants. Dickerson, Hampton and the driver, Von Smith, were asked to exit the vehicle, and a resulting search found a .32 caliber revolver in a bag on the rear seat of the car.

All three men were charged with carrying a concealed deadly weapon and possession of a firearm by a person prohibited.

Dickerson was arraigned and ordered held on $30,000 secured bail for the gun charges. He was also ordered held on $34,300 secured bail on outstanding warrants by Middletown police charging him with burglary and failing to register as a sex offender.

Dickerson, who has a long criminal history, also is the subject of a Kent County court warrant for probation violation, and online court records show that he’s scheduled to be tried on gun-related burglary and theft charges in Maryland in February.

A Kent County jury last month acquitted Dover police Cpl. Thomas Webster IV, who is white, of assaulting Dickerson, who is black, during an arrest in August 2013. Dickerson suffered a broken jaw.

Webster testified that he didn’t intend to kick Lateef Dickerson in the head 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, and 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 first took the case to a grand jury in 2014 but failed to get an indictment, and the U.S. attorney’s office later concluded there was no civil rights violation. Webster was indicted last year, however, after Democratic Attorney General Matt Denn took office and decided to take the case to a second grand jury.

Webster’s defense attorney has said Denn’s decision was a politically motivated response to nationwide scrutiny of police encounters with black citizens.

Webster returned to the police force last month on paid administrative leave. Officials have said he will undergo a psychological evaluation before a decision is made on whether he will return to full duty.

Meanwhile, a federal lawsuit filed against Webster and the Dover Police Department by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Dickerson was dismissed this week after attorneys reached a settlement. Details of the settlement have not been released.


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