POLITICS

Minnesota Corrections Officer Loses Job After Berating Anti-Police Brutality Protesters

The Minnesota Department of Corrections announced that its internal investigation into Sgt. Paul Gorder had been completed.

The Minnesota Department of Corrections announced Wednesday that an officer recorded last month berating people who were peacefully protesting police brutality no longer works for the department.

Sgt. Paul Gorder, an employee of Minnesota Correctional Facility ― Stillwater for more than 30 years, could be seen taunting and shouting profanities at the group of protesters, largely comprising Black people.

“Fuck you, fuckers!” Gorder, who was wearing American flag shorts, shouted at the demonstrators in Stillwater, about 25 miles east of Minneapolis, on April 25.

Gorder was put on investigative leave following the incident while the Department of Corrections’ Office of Professional Accountability reviewed his conduct. The department said Wednesday that it had completed its investigation.

“Mr. Gorder is no longer employed by the DOC,” a spokesperson for MN DOC said in a statement.

“Under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, the investigation and any discipline or data documenting the action is not public until it is final,” the statement continued. “Final disposition for union employees is at the conclusion of an arbitration proceeding sustaining discipline.”

Gorder did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

In a nearly 40-second video one of the protesters recorded on a cellphone, Gorder can be seen shouting at and giving the middle finger to the small group of demonstrators.

At one point, a blond woman standing with Gorder can be heard yelling, “All you fucking n****rs ― get out of here!”

Multiple witnesses identified the woman as Gorder’s wife, Kimberly Beer. Facebook accounts for Gorder and Beer feature photos of them together. 

A day later, the hair salon where Beer worked in Maplewood said she was no longer employed there.

“We do not condone that behavior at all,” a spokesperson for the hair salon told HuffPost. “Our number one priority is the community, the guests that come in the door and our staff. And we are taking action.”

The confrontation unfolded amid growing tension in the state over policing practices and racial injustice. Five days prior to the incident, a jury had found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murder and manslaughter in George Floyd’s death. 

Chauvin, who is white, knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly 10 minutes during an arrest attempt as Floyd, a Black man, repeatedly stated that he couldn’t breathe. Chauvin remained on Floyd’s neck even after he stopped moving, speaking and breathing.

Chauvin is being held at the Minnesota Correctional Facility – Oak Park Heights, the state’s only maximum-security prison, as he awaits sentencing. The prison is located less than 2 miles from Minnesota Correctional Facility – Stillwater.