Delaware jury acquits white officer of assaulting black man

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A white police officer seen on video kicking a black suspect in the head and breaking his jaw has been acquitted of assault in Delaware.

A jury deliberated over three days before acquitting Dover police Cpl. Thomas Webster IV on Tuesday.

Webster testified he didn’t intend to kick Lateef Dickerson in the head in the 2013 encounter and was aiming for his upper body. Webster also said he feared for his safety and that of others because officers were told Dickerson had a gun — and that he was slow to comply with repeated commands to get on the ground.

A police video shows Dickerson had his hands on the ground but wasn’t fully prone when Webster kicked him.

Prosecutors argued that Webster acted recklessly and used excessive force.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.