Washington County attorney not swayed by criticism of charges in Daunte Wright killing – Twin Cities

2021-05-01 06:29:35 –

On the day Killing of Daunte Wright rested, a small group of prosecutors gathered outside the house of prosecutor Pete Opput’s Stillwater and used a microphone and speakers to kill a 20-year-old black driver at the Brooklyn Center police. He demanded that the officer be charged with murder. ..

Orput wore a hoodie and khaki and went out to try to explain why he was accused of manslaughter instead. After some debate, a Washington County lawyer was clearly frustrated and finally ended it.

“I choose not to do so,” Orput said of filing a murder charge. He thanked the group for peace, but said, “I will not give in to this.”

Wright was hit deadly by a white Kimpotter on April 11 during a traffic outage at the Brooklyn Center. Potter’s body camera recorded her screams. Taser! Before she fired, and the city’s former police chief said he believed she was going to use her stun gun.

Those who know Orput, a former Marine who worked in Vietnam before becoming a lawyer, explain that he is not afraid and willing to confront what he thinks is right.

Fred Bruno, a Minneapolis defense lawyer, said he “would like to be in a fox hole with you.” Bruno also described Orput as a “very sensitive” and “listening in every way” person.

Orput is the latest prosecutor who has felt the enthusiasm from activists claiming that police killings of blacks have not been accused seriously enough.

When George Floyd died in Minneapolis after being detained by police last year, protesters took four days to prosecute Hennepin County lawyer Mike Freeman, after which Derek Chauvin was the only third-class murderer. He was charged with manslaughter. Attorney General Keith Ellison took over the case, added a second murder charge against Chauvin, and charged three other police officers.

Former Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kim Potter (provided by Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office)

Orput filed a proceeding with Potter under a year-old agreement that Twin Cities prosecutors would handle deaths involving each other’s police. Protesters want Ellison to take over, but he said he was confident in Olput.

When he was talking to protesters outside Stillwater’s house, Minneapolis civil rights lawyer and activist Nekima Levy Armstrong said he would have charged Potter with murder if Wright was white. .. Olput shook his head and seemed injured. “I wish you knew me,” he said. “You won’t say that.”

Later in an interview with The Associated Press, Orput said such hints were harmful, but he wasn’t angry about it because it wasn’t true. He said he felt that being a prosecutor was “what God wanted me to do.”

“And I think I made the most of this opportunity,” he said. “I love being a prosecutor …. I like asking people to explain on behalf of the victim.”

Many legal experts say that manslaughter is consistent with what is known about Wright’s death.

Minneapolis defendant lawyer F. Clayton Tyler said he thought Olput had done the right thing. According to Tyler, Olput may have been charged with a third-class murder, proving that it is “a completely different ball game.”

65-year-old Orput grew up in St. Paul and joined the Marine Corps after graduating from high school. As a lawyer, he has worked as a prosecutor in Hennepin County, dealing with robbery, weapons, murder, and much more. He also worked as a legal counsel and deputy prosecutor for the state prison system.

Currently, in his third term as Chief Prosecutor in Washington County, Orput is working on a program to provide medication to addicts. I have no questions. He has been instrumental in establishing special courts for veterans with legal problems, keeping mentally ill persons out of prison and abolishing the county’s bail system. His office also prioritized child trafficking and exploitation cases.

If Potter’s proceedings were brought to trial, Olput said he and Imran Ali, assistant chief of the Criminal Division in Washington County, would handle it.

Longtime friend Peter Ivy said Orput was witty and good at trials.

“If you’re not telling the truth on the stand, he’ll expose you,” said Ivy, Chief Deputy County Attorney for Carver County.

This photo was provided by Ben Crump Law of PLLC. Dantelite and his son, Dante Jr., show at his first birthday party. Wright, 20, was killed on Sunday, April 11, 2021 by a white police officer on the outskirts of Minneapolis during a traffic outage. (Venclamp method, via PLLC, AP)

Perhaps Orput’s biggest incident in recent years was Byron Smith, who killed two teenage cousins ​​who invaded Little Falls, Minnesota in 2012. Smith was convicted of a planned murder.

The trial featured a chilling recording in which Smith killed teens and called them “pests.” Orput told the jury that Smith was waiting for a teenager and set up a perch that Orput described as a “deer stall.”

“He then saw something that many didn’t know,” Bruno said. “When he learned that this guy was hunting these kids like a deer, it really did it for him.”

Orput is also chasing police officers. In 2002, he was convicted of arson against a former police chief in Lanesboro, Minnesota.

But his critics say he has never charged an officer for murder. Murder charges against officers are rare nationwide, including in Minnesota, where only two people, including Chauvin, were convicted of murder.

Critics say Olput may have been murdered in the 2015 death of Marcus Golden, who was fatally shot by two St. Paul officers after police told them they had driven a car. say. Orput said the case was tragic but should not be confused with other well-known mass shootings accused by police of exerting excessive force on the minority.

“This is not one such case,” Orput told Minnesota Public Radio News at the time. “I know people want to pigeon hole it there, but it’s not.”

Orput resigned from a commission investigating state sentencing guidelines after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease last year and a doctor telling him to simplify his life. Stress can cause symptoms, but the illness has little effect on him, he said. “If I stay in Zen, I’m usually okay,” he said.

Orput told AP that he couldn’t talk about the Potter case, but he wouldn’t give in to public pressure.

“It will be a complete sale of my values ​​and everything I have worked with.”

Washington County attorney not swayed by criticism of charges in Daunte Wright killing – Twin Cities Source link Washington County attorney not swayed by criticism of charges in Daunte Wright killing – Twin Cities

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