A trial for a former Minneapolis police officer accused of kicking a man in the face has been set for October, but he wants it moved to another county.
Christopher Reiter, 36, is charged with one count of felony third-degree assault for kicking Mohamed Osman during a May 2016 arrest in south Minneapolis, an incident that was captured on a surveillance video. Reiter's attorney, Robert Fowler, argued in court filings that the video's publicity "has guaranteed [Reiter] will not be able to get a fair trial in the metro area."
Fowler wants the trial moved to Steele County, a little more than an hour south of the Twin Cities.
The video shows Reiter and other officers with their guns drawn running out of an apartment building toward Osman, who was sitting in a silver SUV. Osman got out of the car with his hands up and knelt on the ground. One of the officers, Josh Domek, then kicked Osman in his midsection. Immediately after, Reiter kicked Osman in the head.
Reiter was fired and has appealed his termination.
Osman said he received a traumatic brain injury from the kick and has sued the city seeking $4 million in damages. Police were responding to the building that night on a report of Osman beating a woman. Osman has since pleaded guilty to third-degree assault and served about two-thirds of a 75-day sentence in the county workhouse.
Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Dan Allard argued in a court filing that Reiter will still get a fair trial despite the video becoming public.
"[Reiter] contends that an anti-police culture and a negative bias against police officers has irrevocably tainted the minds of jurors," Allard wrote. "However, those assertions are based solely on personal observation and opinion."
In September 2014, Reiter was caught on video kicking a man in the chest in similar fashion. That video shows Reiter arriving at a gas station after the manager, Shawn Ross, broke up a fight. Reiter got out of the car and pointed at Ross, who got on his knees. Reiter then walked up to Ross and kicked him in the chest. Ross settled for $105,000.