Protest at Washington County prosecutor’s office met by racial slurs

Georgia Fort/Facebook A screenshot of protesters holding a Sunday worship service outside of Washington County prosecutor’s office.

Protests continued Sunday in front of the Stillwater home of Washington County Prosecutor Peter Orput.  People demanding that Orput increase the charges against Kim Potter, the Brooklyn Center police officer who shot and killed Daunte Wright on April 11, have held several protests at his house since Wright’s killing.

On Sunday, April 25, one of the neighbors, Kimberly Beer, was caught on camera yelling, “All you f—n n—ers get out of here!” Beer is the wife of 30-year Minnesota Department of Corrections (MNDOC) veteran Paul Gorder. Gorder and his wife confronted the group of about 40 people who had gathered to have a Sunday church service in front of Orput’s home.

Gorder has since been placed on investigatory leave by the MNDOC.

Despite the efforts of protesters to convince him to increase the charges from second-degree manslaughter to murder, Orput has said he will not add to the charges against Potter.

Levy Armstong said they made this demand because the county attorney’s office can not be trusted. “Systemic change is needed in the aftermath of the Derek Chauvin verdict. There is a need for an independent special prosecutor to charge and prosecute cases,” she said.

The protesters said they have received varied reactions to their demonstrations. While some have been supportive, on one occasion, a neighbor drove a ski mobile down a hill close to them and another neighbor brought out a chainsaw.

“The blatant racism being displayed by Orput’s neighbors is highly disturbing and traumatizing. Their behavior, coupled with Orput’s longstanding refusal to charge the officer with murder, is why he should be removed from the case,” said activist and civil rights attorney Nekima Levy Armstrong. “The State Attorney should take over this case. The governor said in his responses to us said he would happily turn the case over to Keith (MN Attorney General Keith Ellison) if he wants it. Keith refused to take it.”

Levy Armstrong and others took to Facebook to demand that Governor Walz take action immediately to appoint the attorney general or a special prosecutor to take over the prosecution of former officer Potter.