The prosecutor handling the Daunte Wright case has spoken for the first time after 150 protesters descended on his home on Saturday night.
Demonstrators spent three hours at Peter Orput’s Stillwater, Minnesota, home and demanded that Wright’s killer Kimberly Potter face murder charges over his death.
But speaking in an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com, Washington County Attorney Orput, 65, said he is prepared to go all out to get a conviction and denied ‘going easy on her because she’s a cop’.
Orput told DailyMail.com: ‘I’d just ask, have faith in me as a prosecutor. I’m not giving anything away.
‘I’m not trying to say, well she’s a cop, I’m going to give her a break. I’m saying I’ll present the evidence like I have in the 350 jury trials I’ve done in my career and I’m going to ask the jury to do the right thing.
‘And I think the right thing is to convict her of second-degree manslaughter.’
Peter Orput, the prosecutor handling Daunte Wright’s case, told DailyMail.com, ‘I’d just ask, have faith in me as a prosecutor. I’m not giving anything away’
Orput spoke for the first time as demonstrators spent three hours protesting outside his home in Stillwater, Minnesota Saturday night
Kimberly Potter, 48, was arrested Wednesday and charged over the killing of Daunte Wright, 20, during a traffic stop last week
Potter, 48, was arrested Wednesday and charged over the killing of Wright, 20, during a traffic stop last week.
Bodycam footage taken during the stop shows her screaming ‘taser, taser, taser’ before she shoots Wright once in the chest.
She is then heard shouting, ‘Holy s***! I shot him’ as a fatally injured Wright drives away. He crashed his car a few blocks away and died at the scene.
His death, which came during the second week of ex-cop Derek Chauvin’s trial over his part in the death of George Floyd, sparked mass protests.
The case is being prosecuted by Orput, who is the county attorney for neighboring Washington County, because of Potter’s links to the Hennepin County prosecutors with whom she had worked closely before resigning on Tuesday.
Prior to his election to his current role in 2010, he worked as an assistant county attorney for Hennepin County where he specialized in prosecuting violent crime.
Orput had previously refused to speak about the case but decided to talk to protesters outside his three-bedroom home that he shares with wife Tami, 57, and their three children.
He told DailyMail.com: ‘There was a protest. Some I respected. They were peaceful, honorable and they wanted to let me know what their feelings are.
‘I’m ok with that. In fact, I was so ok with it, I went out to talk to them. I let them know what the legal issues are and they wanted to tell me, they want justice.
‘And I said I’ll get you just as much justice as I can out of this particular case. That’s it.’
Orput had previously refused to speak about the case but decided to talk to protesters outside his three-bedroom home that he shares with wife Tami, 57, and their three children
The protestors demanded that Wright’s killer Kimberly Potter face murder charges over his death
Orput told DailyMail.com: ‘There was a protest. Some I respected. They were peaceful, honorable and they wanted to let me know what their feelings are’
Responding to protesters demanding Potter face an immediate murder charge, Orput insisted on due process and said he was ‘sorry’ if the charges aren’t enough for some.
He said: ‘Everybody’s entitled to due process. Adolf Hitler is entitled to due process. Everybody is. And I welcome it. I don’t see that as a challenge.
‘I said let’s bring it to court, let’s put it all in front of a courtroom, in front of a jury of 12 working people and say, what do you think?
‘Because I believe the woman I’m prosecuting committed second degree manslaughter. If I thought she’d committed more, I’d bring the charges.
‘But I can only bring the charges that the evidence supports. And if that doesn’t assuage the public, then I’m sorry it doesn’t.’
Orput’s intervention comes amid rising tension in Minneapolis as the Chauvin trial comes to a close, with both sides due to make their final case on Monday.
Wright’s family is being represented by Benjamin Crump who is also representing the family of George Floyd.
The Wright family has publicly demanded that Potter face murder charges over the killing.
Orput said he has spoken with the family lawyers and told them that he hopes some good will come from Wright’s death.
Father-of-one Wright, 20, was killed during a traffic stop last week, sparking protests and outrage
Orput spoke to the protestors outside his home and said, ‘I let them know what the legal issues are and they wanted to tell me, they want justice’
To the protesters, he added: ‘If they want to protest, they have the right – I respect the first amendment’
He said: ‘It’s what I told the attorneys representing Mr. Wright who are also representing Mr. Floyd, it’s deeply unfortunate that we need these incidents to get change – but we do.
‘I’ve been working on changes and actually, since the death of Mr. Floyd, I’ve been able to see some things that I’ve been pushing come good.
‘So it wasn’t for naught, this wasn’t for naught. We need to see changes in society. But don’t make it in a micro way about this woman and how you think she should be treated.’
To the protesters, he added: ‘If they want to protest, they have the right – I respect the first amendment.
‘But don’t damage my property, don’t hurt my wife and kids. If you have something to say, I’ve heard it, I’ve spent hours, I haven’t slept all week.
‘I’ve tried to get the charges right – I think I’ve got the charges right, I’m willing to go to trial on the charges and I’m willing to do everything I can to get a conviction.’