Bad River Community Honors Jason Pero with Walk

Amy Adamle
December 03, 2017 07:33 PM

It's been almost a month since 14-year-old Jason Pero was shot and killed by an Ashland County Sheriff's Deputy. 

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According to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, the deputy shot Pero after he lunged at him with a knife, but his friends said this is not the Jason they knew and are using this walk to preserve a memory of their friend, who they say was a kind and sweet person.

On Saturday, his friends and community members honored him with a "Community Unity" walk.  

"We were like his closest friends, we had like a group we were best friends," four of his friends, who organized the walk, said.  

Over a hundred people gathered before the walk, standing arm in arm to show unity.

"We saw a lot of people were grieving and there was a lot of stuff going around social media," Vinny Bender, one of the organizers said.  "We felt people needed some healing and as his close friends we felt obligated to do something."

They decided to plan a "Community Unity" healing walk and invited community members from Ashland and the Bad River Tribe to come together.

"As friends of Jason, we think that he wouldn't like all of this diversity, because Jason was a caring loving kid," Bender said.  

Community members were quick to support their idea and step in to help. 

"Their message today is about who he really was and they want people to know that he wasn't the person written in that report," Elsie Leoso Corbine, a community member who participated in the walk, said.  

They started at the Bad River Tribe Community Center and walked around 12 miles to Ashland.  

Their message of unity was clear by the amount of people walking together.

"We didn't think there was going to be this much people, there was so much of a turnout," a few of his friends said.  "It means so much."

With the walk, they were able to work through the grieving process together. 

"There's all kinds of things that come with grief and to get that healing we have to learn to forgive and help one another and I think that our youth are showing us how to do that," Corbine said.  "They're the ones that are stepping up and taking care of us right now and we're helping them and in helping them we're getting the healing we need as adults."


Amy Adamle

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