STILLWATER, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota Department of Corrections employee has been placed on investigative leave after a profane confrontation with protesters seeking more serious charges against the police officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright.
Paul Gorder, a sergeant at the state’s prison in Stillwater, and a woman were seen on social media shouting at protesters who gathered Sunday outside the home of Washington County Attorney Pete Orput.
Orput charged Brooklyn Center police Officer Kim Potter with second-degree manslaughter in the April 11 death of Wright, a 20-year-old Black motorist. The Brooklyn Center police chief said he thought Potter, a 26-year veteran, meant to pull her Taser when Wright pulled away from officers, but pulled her handgun instead. Potter’s body camera video recorded her shouting “Taser! Taser!” before she fired her weapon.
Both Potter and the chief resigned soon after Wright’s death.
Activists have said they don’t believe Potter made a mistake.
Nekima Levy Armstrong, an activist who has helped organize protests at Orput’s home, posted a 39-second video on Twitter that appeared to show Gorder giving protesters the finger. A woman with Gorder is heard using a racial slur as she tells protesters to “Get out of here!”
After Armstrong posted the video Sunday evening, the DOC replied in a tweet that the “actions and comments made here do not reflect the values of the MN DOC” and said Commissioner Paul Schnell had ordered an investigation. The agency tweeted Monday that the employee show in the video had been placed on leave.
In a statement, Schnell identified the woman in the video as Gorder’s wife. He called Gorder’s actions “deeply disturbing and contrary to the mission and values of the Department of Corrections” and apologized to protesters.