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Former Minneapolis police officer who kicked suspect in the face is found guilty of assault

The victim had been on the ground, cooperating with officers' commands.

A former Minneapolis police officer accused of kicking a cooperative suspect in the face, causing a serious injury, was found guilty of assault.

Christopher Michael Reiter was one of the officers who responded to a domestic assault call on May 30, 2016, according to the criminal charges. The suspect, Mohamed Osman, got on his hands and knees when ordered by officers – at which point Reiter went over and "kicked him in the face."

Osman then collapsed to the ground "bleeding and unconscious," and was diagnosed with a displaced nasal bone, nasal septal fractures, and a mild traumatic brain injury, according to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in March (when the charges were filed) that Osman still had signs of traumatic brain injury and hadn't been able to return to work.

On Monday, a jury in Hennepin County found Reiter guilty of third-degree assault, the office announced. It took 90 minutes of deliberating for the jurors to reach a verdict. 

The sentence is normally probation, but Freeman said he'll ask for prison time.

"All Minneapolitans, including police officers, agree this conduct is not acceptable," Freeman said in a statement Monday. "You don’t kick a guy on his knees, in the face, especially when he wasn’t doing anything.”

The St. Paul Police Department handled the investigation to avoid a conflict of interest.

Reiter was no longer an officer with the Minneapolis Police Department as of Jan. 11, 2017, MPD told GoMN when the charges were announced. Former Police Chief Janeé Harteau said at that time they "dealt with the matter internally," adding Reiter's actions were "not consistent with our core values and we take that very seriously." 

The charges against Reiter marked the second time this year the Hennepin County Attorney's Office has brought assault charges against a Minneapolis police officer. Efrem Hamilton was charged in January for shooting at a car full of people, and has not gone to trial yet.

The Hennepin County Attorney's Office had charged five Minneapolis police officers for various crimes over the past five years, Freeman previously said.

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