A former Minneapolis police officer is on trial this week for kicking a man in the face during a domestic violence call. Jurors will watch a video of the incident.
Officer Christopher Reiter was interviewing the victim at an apartment building on the city's south side. Prosecutors say Reiter learned the man suspected of committing the crime, Mohamed Osman, was in a car nearby.
Other officers on the scene had already ordered Osman to get out of the car and drop to his hands and knees. In his opening statement, assistant Hennepin County Attorney Dan Allard said Osman complied with the orders — although not immediately.
He said Reiter "drew his leg back" and kicked Osman in the face "as if he's kicking a football."
Osman, who was convicted of assaulting his girlfriend, testified that he remembered the officers telling him to get out of the car and get on the ground.
"My intention was to follow the law, to respect the law," said Osman through an interpreter.
Osman said he remembers waking up later in the hospital. He said he was hospitalized for four days. Osman, who is also suing the city in federal civil court, testified that he still feels pain associated with the injuries he suffered that night.
Defense attorney Robert Fowler offered a different account of the evening. He said the woman feared that after beating and choking her for 45 minutes, Osman left to get a knife to cause her more harm. Fowler said Osman was "extremely violent" and that Reiter's split-second decision to kick Osman was justified.
Fowler said Reiter will testify on his own behalf.