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Bad River Tribe Seeks Federal Investigation of Shooting

The Bad River Tribe is calling for a federal investigation into the officer-involved shooting of 14-year-old Jason Pero. The Bad River Tribe is calling for a federal investigation into the officer-involved shooting of 14-year-old Jason Pero. | 

November 16, 2017 12:50 PM

The Bad River Tribe is calling for a federal civil rights investigation of the officer-involved shooting of a teenager.

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An Ashland County Sheriff's Deputy shot and killed 14-year-old Jason Pero On Nov. 8 in Odanah. The Wisconsin Department of Justice issued a news release on Nov. 11 saying that Pero was carrying a large butcher knife, refused numerous commands to drop the weapon, and lunged at Deputy Brock Mrdjenovich. The deputy fired his service weapon at Pero, striking him twice.

The Justice Department said an investigation by the Division of Criminal Investigation indicated that Pero had been despondent in the days before the shooting.

The Tribal Council says it does not agree with the state's account of the incident, and calls the deputy's response excessive force.

"The Tribal Council would like to make note that Jason was not a threat, he was known in the community as a kind and gentle person with a great sense of humor. The family of Jason Pero would like to remind everyone of Jason’s message. That he was a sweet and non-violent boy, and to grieve in a healthy way, and not to channel grief through violence and angry posts on social media," the tribe said in a news release.

The tribe is asking the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division to open a criminal civil rights and civil police misconduct investigation.

The state investigation is not yet complete and prosecutors have not decided whether to file charges against Mrdjenovich. He is on paid administrative leave.


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