A taxicab driver filed a lawsuit Tuesday accusing a former Minneapolis officer of police brutality. The former cop recently was convicted of excessive violence in a separate case.
Abdi Hussen Wagad says in the suit filed in U.S. District Court that former officer Christopher Michael Reiter wrongly arrested him and "inflicted serious bodily damage" even though Wagad did not fit the description of the suspect police were pursuing.
Wagad was "mistakenly identified by members of the Minneapolis Police Department because they erroneously believed that [he] had pulled out a handgun and deliberately threatened one or more females," the suit says.
In October, a Hennepin County jury found Reiter guilty of assault for kicking a man in the face.
Reiter delivered a blow to the head of Mohamed Osman on May 30 2016, knocking him unconscious and inflicting brain bleeding and a traumatic brain injury, testimony at the trial showed.
Reiter will be sentenced Dec. 12 for his conviction on third-degree assault, which is a felony.
The lawsuit, filed this week, alleges that Reiter threw Wagad against a brick wall two days before he kicked Osman in the face.
On May 28, 2016, Reiter responded to a 911 call of someone pulling a gun on an unarmed person near Portland Avenue and East Lake Street.
"Despite the fact that Reiter had known and had been told previously by the police dispatcher that the person he should be looking for was a bald, thin, Hispanic male, Reiter instead apprehended [Wagad] who did not fit the description of the prime suspect," the suit says.
Wagad is a Somali man with a full head of gray hair.
Reiter "violently threw" Wagad against a wall, which resulted in a dislocated shoulder, the suit said.
Wagad was put into handcuffs as Reiter and another officer, named N. Franco in the lawsuit, searched his body but found no weapons.
Wagad was not arrested or charged, the suit says. At the hospital, Wagad was diagnosed with head trauma, a dislocated right shoulder and contusions on his face and head.
According to the lawsuit, Wagad still suffers from pain and nightmares related to the incident, as well as "severe physical and mental trauma."
The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages from the officers and Police Department, as well as procedural changes and additional training on the "proper method to apprehend suspects."
Reiter, 37, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Reiter was fired from the Police Department after the kicking incident.
Reiter, who had been on the force since 2012, is expected to lose his peace officer's license, as state law requires an automatic revocation for any felony conviction.
Minneapolis police have investigated at least eight other complaints against Reiter.
Before being fired from the department, Reiter had kicked a gas station attendant while on duty in 2014.
The attendant sued, and the case was settled after Minneapolis agreed to pay $105,000 after a federal lawsuit.