Former Minneapolis Police Officer Christopher Reiter Found Guilty Of Third-Degree Assault
October 10, 2017
The Star Tribune calls it a “rare conviction for on-duty use of force”.
On May 30, 2016, Minneapolis police officer Christopher Michael Reiter, 36-years old, responded to a domestic abuse call. When he arrived, he found a woman badly beaten. Other officers arrived and found the suspect, Mohamed Osman, sitting in his SUV. Officers surrounded him and ordered him out of his car.
Surveillance video shows that as Osman was getting on the ground, one officer, Josh Domek, kicked him twice. Reiter then delivered a blow to Mohamed’s head that knocked him unconscious, broke his nose, started bleeding on the brain and caused a traumatic brain injury.
At trial in Hennepin County, state prosecutor Daniel Allard told the jury there was a conspiracy to protect Reiter. Reiter, another officer, and the victim testified that they believed Mohamed had a knife. However, other witnesses, including a security guard and several officers who were at the scene, said they did not see a knife.
Another officer, Luke Eckert, testified that he searched Mohamed and found a knife in his front pocket. However, there was no mention of a knife in the official reports, nor was it taken into police inventory for evidence. MPR News reports that when questioned at trial, Eckert said one could go through any squad car and find a number of items like keys, cellphones or pocket knives that hadn’t been inventoried.
“Are you telling me that I can go into any squad car and find a knife?” Allard asked, raising his voice.
“No — I’m just saying items get left in squad cars all the time,” replied Eckert.
Eckert also testified that he did not mention the knife to the Internal Affairs Unit investigating the incident because they didn’t ask him.
Reiter was relieved of duty two days after the incident and subsequently fired for “conduct unbecoming of an officer.”
On Monday, October 9, 2017, a Hennepin County jury deliberated 90 minutes and returned with a verdict of guilty of third-degree assault. Third-degree assault in Minnesota is a felony that carries a maximum sentence of 5 years and/or a $10,000 fine. The felony conviction disqualifies Reiter from being rehired as a police officer. Reiter is scheduled for sentencing on December 12, 2017.
Reiter has been the subject of 8 complaints. Six are closed and two are open.
In April 2017, Minneapolis settled a civil case against the city and Reiter for $105,000. The federal lawsuit alleged that on September 13, 2014, Reiter violated the civil rights of Shawn Ross. Ross was a night manager for a gas station where a fight broke out. 911 was called, and Ross waved the police down. The police ordered everyone on their knees. While Ross was on his knees, Reiter kicked him. It was caught on camera.
According to 5 Eyewitness news, so far this year, the city of Minneapolis has entered into $455,680 to settle cases against police officers. The city has spent more than $20 million over the last 10 years in lawsuit settlements.
Posted on 10/11/2017, in Cases, Mohamed Osman and tagged Christopher Michael Reiter, guilty, Minneapolis, Mohamed Osman, settlements, Shawn Ross, third-degree assault. Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.