Records show behavior of Delaware officer facing assault trial

 Cpl. Thomas West faces assault charges. He's accused of kicking a suspect and breaking the man's jaw. (photo courtesy Dover Police)

Cpl. Thomas West faces assault charges. He's accused of kicking a suspect and breaking the man's jaw. (photo courtesy Dover Police)

Use of force reports and personnel evaluations suggest that Dover police knew that a white officer charged with assaulting a black suspect in 2013 by kicking him in the head had a predilection for using unwarranted physical force.

The attorney for Cpl. Thomas Webster IV says prosecutors should not be allowed to use the internal police records at Webster’s trial next week. Police dashcam video shows Webster kicking Lateef Dickerson while Dickerson was on his hands and knees, breaking his jaw.

Prosecutors have reviewed 29 prior use-of-force reports for Webster and are seeking to point to three specific incidents in which he struck suspects in the face. 

A 2006 departmental evaluation notes that there had been times when Webster should have tried “lesser degrees of force to accomplish an objective.”

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