In August 2013, Dover, Del., police officers were responding to a call regarding a major fight happening outside a Hess gas station. When the first units arrived, the men involved in the melee ran.
Cpl. Thomas Webster IV, 41, and another officer responded to the scene and began searching for men who may have been involved in the assault.
Dash-cam video obtained by the Delaware News Journal appears to show Webster and another officer approach Lateef Dickerson and yell for him to get on the ground. As Dickerson begins lowering himself, Webster allegedly kicks the man in the face.
On Monday, Webster was arrested after a grand jury indicted him on second-degree assault. He has been placed on unpaid leave.
The officers apparently believed that Dickerson fit the description of one of the men involved in the fight. One of the officers can be heard yelling, "Get on the f—king ground!" Dickerson, who can be seen in the video with his hands above his head, drops to his knees and is then kicked in the face. According to the News Journal, the kick broke Dickerson's jaw and knocked him unconscious.
"Dickerson was initially charged with assault, theft and resisting arrest, but those were later dropped. Officers did not find a gun at the scene," the New York Daily News reports.
An internal investigation in 2013 by the Dover Police Department found that Webster had violated department policy. Webster was allowed to return to full duty in June 2014 after a previous grand jury in March 2014 chose not to indict the officer, according to the Daily News. After reviewing the case, Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn had prosecutors present the case to another grand jury.
"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," said Kathleen MacRae, executive director of the ACLU of Delaware, which is suing the department on Dickerson's behalf.
Dover Police Lt. Jason Pires told the News Journal that the alleged incident is not an accurate representation of the Dover police, which has 12 black officers and 78 white officers.
Webster's attorney, James Liguori, told the Daily News that the released footage was not from his "client's patrol car and that people's minds will change when they see dash-cam video from that vehicle."
"Everybody's going to be satisfied that no crime was committed," Liguori said. "They've only seen half the movie."