Police officials in Dover, Del. have arrested a white officer for kicking a Black suspect in the head during an arrest process after dash cam footage from 2013 was made public. Lateef Davidson was kneeling when Dover Police officer Corp. Thomas Webster kicked him in the face near a city gas station.
As reported by local paper The News Journal, the release of the video adds to the several incidents regarding police conduct across America. Activists are demanding that new procedures get implemented when police apprehend suspects and expect changes to be made from within their organizational structure. As part of an ongoing legal tussle between Davidson and Webster, the officer turned himself in on Monday (May 4) ahead of the release of the video.
More from the News Journal:
“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 American Civil Liberties Union of Delaware.
While this incident occurred before well-publicized incidents in Ferguson, Missouri; New York City; North Charleston, South Carolina; and Baltimore, where black suspects were killed by police, the indictment and release of the video here occurred nearly two years later.
Civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson said the Dover incident clearly shows mistreatment by law enforcement.
“What is clear is that a man who is down should not be kicked to unconsciousness,” said Jackson, who appeared at protests and a funeral in Baltimore and Ferguson. “That is excessive force.”
Davidson is launching a lawsuit against Dover Police with the assistance of the local ACLU branch. The clip of the August 2013 arrest was made public by a federal judge who said the video was no longer considered confidential. The video is chilling, as Webster kicks Davidson so hard that he broke his jaw and made him slump to the ground.
There are no details about Davidson’s suit, but there has been wrangling behind the scenes occurring in the time since the incident that gave way to recent events.
Watch the 5-minute dashboard camera video of Corp. Thomas Webster kicking Lateef Davidson in the face. A Warning: the images depicted in the video may be disturbing to some.
Photo: Dover Police Department