A former Minneapolis police officer was convicted of felony assault Monday after kicking a suspect in the face last year, causing a traumatic brain injury and breaking the man's nose.
The jury came back with a verdict for 36-year-old Christopher Reiter in just 90 minutes, which Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said was unusually fast.
“We think the evidence justified the verdict," he said. "All Minneapolitans, including police officers, agree this conduct is not acceptable. You don’t kick a guy on his knees, in the face, especially when he wasn’t doing anything.”
Reiter's attorney argued in court that the use of force was justified, despite three officers who were there at the time of the incident that said in interviews the situation did not require the use of deadly force--which is what a kick to the head is classified as.
The attorney for Mohamed Osman said in the months after the May 2016 incident that Osman still suffered from dizziness and headaches, which prevented him from returning to his job as a truck driver.
According to the original criminal complaint, he was located outside an apartment building after allegedly choking and beating a woman inside to the point of unconsciousness, though bystanders told police that Osman was on his knees and complying with police orders when Reiter, a 9-year veteran of the force, kicked him in the face.
Sentencing guidelines call for Reiter to be put on probation, though Freeman said in a release that he plans to ask for prison time.
In another civil case Osman is also suing Reiter and the City of Minneapolis for $4 million in damages.