Bad River community demanding Ashland County sheriff, deputy res - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

Bad River community demanding Ashland County sheriff, deputy resign

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ASHLAND, WI -

It was a small, but unified group in front of the Ashland County Sheriff's office on Thursday. 

Just one month after 14 year old Jason Pero was shot and killed by Ashland County Sheriff's deputy Brock Mrdjenovich, members of the Bad River Band, and surrounding community are calling for the resignation of Mrdjenovich and Sheriff Mick Brennan, including calls from Pero's mother Holly Gauthier.  

"That's the least Mick Brennan could do, is resign. That's the least he could do, and that would show me something," said Gauthier.  

The preliminary investigation alleges Pero was despondent, and he called 911 on himself. The report later alleges before being shot, Pero lunged at the deputy with a butcher knife twice. 

Gauthier said Pero wasn't a violent person, "For him to say that in his interview, and report that, I don't believe it. Jason wasn't that type of boy," she said.  

Gauthier said part of Wednesdays protest is also a demand for more transparency and to seek answers for why deadly force was used.

"To me, he murdered my baby. He took my boy from me, and there's no justification for what he did," said Gauthier.  

Pero's cousin says the resignation of Brennan and Mrdjenovich would provide the Bad River community with a sense of healing. 

"Having both of these officers still working here, I don't think we can heal that gap that's been created. We need transparency with everything that's going on, and I think a good way to start with that is to get rid of these two officers in question," said Victoria Gokee, Pero's cousin. 

The shooting has left more questions than answers for both the band, and the neighboring communities.

"I don't understand a world that a 14 year old boy is killed. It doesn't make sense to me, so I'm here to show my support," said Mary Dougherty, a participant at the protest.  

While family and friends continue to seek more answers, Gauthier says if she is not provided the information she needs, she'll be seeking a federal investigation. 

"I have no faith in the local and state system," Gauthier said. 

Sheriff Brennan declined to comment on Thursdays protest.

Mrdjenovich has returned to work after several weeks of paid administrative leave. While he's not out patrolling, he is back to work in the office. 

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