“Respected” Correctional Officer Repeatedly Assails Protesters
On Sunday, April 25th, Activists held a church service outside Washington County Attorney Pete Orput’s house. Orput has been given the case of Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Porter for gunning down Daunte Wright, but Orput has refused to press murder charges.
Paul Gorder and his wife, Kimberly Beer, aggressively confronted the congregation. Gorder shouted, “Fuck off, you fucking cunts!”, pushed aggressively toward the crowd, flipped people off, and threatened violence (“I’ll kick your ass”). Beer shouted, “All you fucking [n-word], get out of here!”. Police moved the couple away from the crowd.
This was activists’ third trip to Orput’s house, and each time, Gorder aggressively confronted calm and organized protests. Two days prior, an activist who knew Gorder vouched for him and walked him away from the crowd, but Gorder returned and escalated further just two days later.
Hypocritically, Gorder is not against all protests – a December 2010 Star Tribune article describes him as an emotional participant of a protest against Department of Corrections budget cuts.
The Minnesota Department of Corrections has verified the aggressor is Paul Gorder, and that he is a corrections officer at their Stillwater prison. A previous post on the Department of Corrections Facebook page described Gorder as “a 30-year veteran” and “highly respected among staff and incarcerated men”.
Gorder is on administrative leave while the Department of Corrections is investigating the incidents, but what does it say about our correctional officers that a man with so little self-control and clear anger issues is a “respected” correctional officer?
Due to over-policing of minority communities, racial profiling, and disproportionate charges for similar crimes done by white people, Black men are overrepresented in Minnesota’s prisons almost three times their percentage of the population. If threats, swearing, aggression, and racial epithets are Gorder’s behavior on camera in his own neighborhood, what is he willing to do to Black prisoners who are forced to deal with him at work?
To demand murder charges against Kim Potter, contact: Washington County Attorney Pete Orput Phone: 651-430-6115 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To demand action on violent and racist correctional officers, contact: Minnesota Department of Corrections 651-361-7200 Twitter: @MinnCorrections