Bad River Community Calling on Ashland County Sheriff, Deputy to Resign

Taylor Holt
December 21, 2017 10:42 PM

The Bad River community is calling for the resignation of the Ashland County sheriff and the officer involved in the shooting death of 14-year-old Jason Pero.

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Thursday, family and community members gathered in front of the Ashland County Sheriff's Department to voice their concerns.

"We want justice for Jason. This has been a horrible experience for my family," said Victoria Gokee, Jason's cousin, who attended the gathering.

"I'm here to support the family and support Holly and the quest for justice," said Frank Koehn, who also attended.

Deputy Brock Mrdjenovich was placed on paid administrative leave following Pero's death. As of last Monday, he returned to work. Ashland County Sheriff Mike Brennan says he is working in the office, not patrolling but community members say that's unacceptable.

"This community has been torn in two. We want to unite but we can't do that with baby killers on the force," said Gokee.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Justice's preliminary findings, Pero lunged at Mrdjenovich with a knife before he was shot - something many with the band also disagree with.

"I don't believe he lunged at the police officer based on the videos that we have seen," said Gokee.

The shooting happened back in November, and family and community members say they are still looking for answers.

"I think we should have had answers a long time a lot sooner. I don't know what's taking so long," Gokee added.

"Hopefully this starts getting the message out and getting questions out to say as a justice community, we're really concerned," said Koehn.

They say what they want is transparency now and in the future.

"We want transparency in everything with the police department because a lot of people are scared," Gokee said.

"We want to find out what happened. We want to find out how the whole investigation works, and when do the citizens, the family and community members have the opportunity to get their questions answered," said Koehn.

Eyewitness News did reach out to the Sheriff Mike Brennan for comment. He said they would not be commenting on anything until the investigation is completed. 


Taylor Holt

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