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A Delaware officer who kicked a man in the head during an August 2013 arrest has returned to the force on paid administrative leave, NBC10 reports.

Officer Thomas Webster was acquitted Dec. 8 of assault for his encounter with 30-year-old Lateef Dickerson. The 42-year-old kicked Dickerson in the head while trying to restrain him. Dickerson suffered a broken jaw during the arrest.

During his trial, the officer’s defense argued Webster did not intend to kick Dickerson in the face and followed proper departmental policy. While the internal investigation found that his actions were actually outside of police policy, Dover Police Chief Paul Bernat announced over the weekend that Webster would return to the field on paid leave Sunday.

The topic of force was broached, with Bernat telling reporters the officer will more than likely undergo a psychological evaluation before returning to full-time status.

Prosecutors continued to speak on Webster’s actions on Friday, claiming he recklessly used excessive force to his liking.

NBC10 reports:

“Whether it was a mistake, whether it was intentional, it was reckless behavior,” prosecutor Danielle Brennan told jurors. Brennan also said the reports filed by Webster after the encounter were “inconsistent and incorrect” and didn’t include his contention at trial that he didn’t intend to kick Dickerson in the head.

The defense insisted that Dickerson had a “sprinter’s position,” meaning he could have grabbed the officer’s gun or fled the scene.

They also argued that Democratic Attorney General Matt Denn’s request to move the case to a second grand jury was politically motivated, as the nation continues to address the problematic behavior of law enforcement as it pertains to African-American citizens.



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Delaware Police Officer Who Broke Man’s Jaw During Arrest Returns To Police Force  was originally published on