Ex-Minneapolis officer accused of kicking suspect appears in court

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Photo Courtesy: Hennepin County Jail

A former Minneapolis police officer, charged with kicking a suspect in the head, had his first court appearance on Thursday.

It was a quick, routine court appearance as expected, but clearly uncomfortable for Christopher Reiter to suddenly be on the opposite side of the law.

Fox 9 captured Reiter showing up at the Hennepin County Jail for his first court appearance. He is charged with third degree assault for allegedly kicking Mohamed Osman in the head during a domestic assault investigation last spring in south Minneapolis.

Osman suffered several fractures to his face and nose and a mild head injury.

Reiter was released from jail on the condition he does not have any contact with Osman.

Reiter’s attorney says he plans to fight the charges.

“This is a major event in his life,” said Robert Fowler, the defense attorney. “He is taking it seriously and we have a lot of work to do.”

Osman pleaded guilty to the domestic assault and will be sentenced later this month. But his attorney points out going from suspect to victim has been challenging and confusing at times for everyone involved.

“He's happy that an officer in the country is being held to the same standard as he was,” said Carson Heefner, Osman’s attorney. “In the sense that if he is going to be charged in a crime for similar conduct, he thinks it's only fair the officer does as well.”

Prosecutors have already said they plan to increase Reiter’s charges from third to first degree assault.

The police union put out a statement on Wednesday saying they are standing by Reiter.

Reiter’s recently released personnel file shines some light on his troubled nine-year career. According to city documents, Reiter worked in the “flooring trade” before becoming a Minneapolis Police officer.

In his application Reiter said in part, “I am detailed oriented, do very well with hostile people, stay calm in tense situations.”

Reiter's next court appearance will be April 20.