Updated: 4:49 p.m. | Posted: 2:42 p.m.
A Hennepin County judge has sentenced former Minneapolis police officer Christopher Reiter to six months in the workhouse and three years probation for kicking a man in the head.
In October, a jury returned a guilty verdict against Reiter, 37, after deliberating for less than two hours. In 2016 while still working as an officer, Reiter kicked domestic assault suspect Mohamed Osman in the face during an arrest.
Reiter stood in front of Judge Fred Karasov Tuesday and told him that he takes responsibility for what he did that night last year.
"When I showed up to work that day I had no intention of hurting anybody," Reiter said. "I became a police officer to help people. Not hurt them."
The blow broke Osman's nose and caused bleeding on his brain. Reiter testified that he believed Osman was carrying a knife and posed a threat to his fellow officers. However neither Reiter, nor the other officers on scene reported the presence of a knife at the time.
The arrest was captured on a security camera recording video from across the street. It showed Osman on his hands and knees as another officer struck him in the midsection. Then Reiter approached and kicked Osman once in the face.
"I saw my partner engaged with somebody who I thought and knew to be dangerous," Reiter said. "I made a quick decision. And, if I had hindsight, it never would have happened."
Reiter added that he probably shouldn't have been on patrol that night. Defense attorney Robert Fowler said in court Reiter had recently completed chemotherapy and should have taken a leave of absence.
Fowler acknowledged that a jury found Reiter guilty, but said the prosecution's request of 120 days in the workhouse was too much.
Osman was also convicted of 3rd degree assault and got a 75-day jail sentence, Fowler said.
"Contrast with, beating his girlfriend for 45 minutes, leaving her in a pool of blood and leaving the scene," Fowler said. "There's a big difference in the conduct that occurred."
Prosecutor Daniel Allard agreed that Osman committed a terrible crime. But unlike Reiter, Osman pleaded guilty and made a deal. Fowler said Reiter was not given an offer.
At sentencing, Judge Karasov said he believed the harsher penalty was deserved. He told the former officer "you abused your authority as a police officer" and would have tried to get away with the beating, were it not for the surveillance video.
"This sentence gives me no pleasure, but I feel it serves justice," Karasov said in court.
Karasov will allow Reiter to participate in a work release program, so he will still be able to support his family with a day job.
Fowler said Reiter will appeal the case and asked that Karasov delay jail time pending the appeal. Karasov denied that request.
Reiter is expected to report to the Hennepin County workhouse in January.