MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A former Minneapolis police officer has been charged with assault after kicking a man in the head.

He was on his hands and knees when he was kicked, which caused facial and brain injuries.

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Ex-officer Christopher Reiter, 36, is charged with third-degree assault in connection with an incident that happened in May of 2016.

Reiter is accused of using deadly force in a situation where it was not needed — and this is not the first time he has been investigated for use of excessive force.

Officers were sent to a Minneapolis apartment on reports of a domestic assault, according to the criminal complaint. The suspect was sitting outside the building in a car when officers arrived.

“He was in his car, he was asked to exit the car. He did. He was told to get on his hands and knees. He did,” said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman. “They want him to go prone and lay on his stomach, and all of a sudden Reiter comes around the corner and kicks him in the face.”

The incident was investigated by St. Paul police to avoid conflict, but it was the testimony of officers on the scene that helped produce a charge against Reiter.

“All three stated the situation did not call for a kick in the face, which is considered under the law use of deadly force,” Freeman said.

Freeman has charged five Minneapolis police officers in the past five years on various charges. He says Reiter’s name has crossed his desk at least once.

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“Prior incidences, I’m aware of them but I had to put them aside when making the decision,” Freeman said. “We make charging decisions about what happened in this case and not what happened in the past.”

Community activist Al Flowers says Reiter is the officer who attacked him in his home in July of 2014.

“He came into my house three years ago and jumped on me,” Flowers said.

He says he was beaten for asking for a warrant when Officer Reiter appeared at his door looking for his daughter.

“‘What are you coming to get her for?’ And when I asked that, I was attacked. I was beaten really bad,” Flowers said.

The case was recently settled out of court for $25,000.

A warrant has been issued for Reiter’s arrest. He is expected to turn himself in Wednesday night or Thursday.

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Reg Chapman