MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Surveillance video has now been released in the case against a former Minneapolis police officer charged with assault after kicking a man in the head.
Ex-officer Christopher Reiter is accused of using deadly force in a situation where it was uncalled for during an incident in May of 2016.
According to the criminal complaint, officers were sent to a Minneapolis apartment on reports of a domestic assault. When officers arrived, the suspect in that case, Mohamed Osman, was sitting in a car outside the building.
According to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, Osman was following police orders when Reiter came around the corner and kicked him in the face.
In surveillance video given to WCCO-TV by Osman’s attorney, Carson Heefner, you can see several officers approaching the silver car that Osman was sitting in.
As Osman exits the car and lays on the ground, he appears to be kicked in the head by then-officer Reiter.
Osman was charged with felony domestic assault for his involvement in a dispute with his girlfriend before the apparent kick. His attorney maintains that charge does not justify the actions of the former police officer.
“It is my opinion that Officer Reiter believes that police work starts with assault first, ask questions later,” Heefner said. “That’s vigilante justice, that’s not acceptable for anybody, let alone a police officer, who is simply there to enforce the laws, not break them.”
This isn’t the only accusation of excessive force against the former police officer. Reiter is also being sued for another incident that happened outside of a gas station in 2014. Video from that night appears to show Shawn Ross, an employee at the gas station, being kicked in the chest by the ex-officer.
Ross says he has lasting pain, anxiety and PTSD from that kick and is seeking $300,000 in damages.
The Minneapolis Police Department has issued the following statement from Chief Janee Harteau regarding the May 2016 allegations against Reiter.
“I have dealt with this matter internally, and we remain committed to creating a culture of accountability within the MPD,” she said. “These actions are not consistent with our core values and we take that very seriously. Unfortunately, this incident takes away from the great strides we make daily to build public trust. It also takes attention away from the professional service our officers routinely provide while responding to more than 450,000 calls for service annually.”
Reiter’s attorney, Robert J. Fowler, said the release of the video is “shameful,” arguing in a statement that the video is just one piece of evidence and doesn’t show the whole story.
“The media’s actions in putting this video out to the public for review and comment prior to trial has all but guaranteed my client will not be able to obtain a fair trial in the metro area,” the statement said.
Reiter was released from custody last week. His next date in court is set for April 20.