Lateef Dickerson signed the agreement on Dec. 22, 2015, while incarcerated at the Sussex Correctional Institute in Georgetown. He is serving a 10-year sentence. The city made the agreement public following a FOIA request filed by the Associated Press.
A man kicked in the face by a Dover police officer more than three years ago has received $300,000 in an agreement to drop a lawsuit against the city.
Lateef Dickerson signed the agreement on Dec. 22, 2015, while incarcerated at the Sussex Correctional Institute in Georgetown. He is serving a 10-year sentence following his conviction on a charge of possession of a firearm by a person prohibited. That case was not related to his suit against the city of Dover, which was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Dickerson is due to be released in mid-2025.
The city made the agreement public following a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the Associated Press, Mayor Robin Christiansen said.
In accepting the payment, Dickerson agreed to give up any future claims against the city resulting from a 2013 assault by then-Cpl. Thomas W. Webster IV.
In turn, the city and Webster did not admit to any liability arising from the case.
The money was paid through an insurance policy kept by the city to cover such lawsuits; in making the settlement, Dover paid the $15,000 deductable required by the policy, Christiansen said.
The case dates back to Aug. 24, 2013, when Dover police, including Webster, were called to investigate a call about armed men near a gas station on Route 13. In a scene recorded on a patrol car dash camera, Webster is seen kicking Dickerson, resulting in his suffering a broken jaw. Webster was suspended from the force shortly afterward, but later reinstated. A grand jury declined to indict him on assault charges.
A later grand jury reversed that decision, and Webster was tried on a single charge of felonious assault. He was acquitted in December 2015.
The city of Dover later paid Webster a $230,000 settlement that allowed him to resign without any black marks on his record.
Christiansen said the city had wanted to make the settlement with Dickerson public.
“One thing we want to make clear is that it never was the intention of the mayor or the city council to suppress the information of the settlement with Mr. Dickerson,” the mayor said Tuesday.
The information had been withheld through a mutual agreement between Dickerson, the insurance company handling the case and the ACLU attorney, he said.
“As you know, if it had been within the confines of our responsibility, we would have brought this forward to let the public know,” Christiansen said.