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HomeBreaking NewsGov. Evers Fails to Order Flags at Half Staff in Honor of...

Gov. Evers Fails to Order Flags at Half Staff in Honor of Slain Milwaukee Police Officer

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TOP FACTS

  • As of Feb. 9, Gov. Tony Evers still has not issued a proclamation ordering flags to immediately fly at half-mast in honor of slain Milwaukee Police Officer Peter Jerving.
  • Jerving was murdered in the early morning hours of Feb. 7, 2023, after a foot pursuit of a robbery suspect. He has been praised as an outstanding officer who wanted to give back to his community.
  • Republican Reps. Barbara Dittrich, Robert Donovan, and John Spiros, and state Sen. Jesse James are criticizing Evers in a letter, asking him to “show dignity and compassion by ordering all flags to be lowered across the state until the day after this selfless public servant.”
  • Right about the time we published this story, and after word of the legislators’ letter began circulating, Evers hastily posted on Facebook that he was ordering flags across the state of Wisconsin to be lowered “to half-staff on Monday as we mourn the tragic loss of Milwaukee Police Department officer Peter Jerving.” There is no proclamation to that regard issued on the governor’s website, however, raising the question of whether he whipped out a last-minute social media post after getting wind of the criticism.

Gov. Tony Evers has failed to immediately order flags of the United States and the State of Wisconsin to be flown at half-staff in honor of Milwaukee Police Department Officer Peter Jerving who died in the line of duty early Tuesday morning, Feb. 7, breaking with past precedent.

As of Thursday morning, the flags were fully raised at the state capitol. Flags were immediately lowered to half-staff for other fallen Milwaukee officers in the past. Evers is not doing that for Jerving.

Four state legislators wrote Evers on Feb. 8, criticizing his slow response to the officer’s death and failure to order flags lowered to half-staff. It was signed by Reps. Barbara Dittrich, Robert Donovan, and John Spiros and Sen. Jesse James.

About the time our story went live, and after word of the legislators’ letter began circulating, Evers hastily posted on Facebook that flags would be lowered Monday, but his website contains no signed proclamation, raising the question of whether he was just trying to get ahead of the legislators’ criticism and this story by posting quickly on social media.

“Governor, it took you until 11 a.m. to even acknowledge this tragic loss of this officer and then it was merely a brief tweet on social media before you moved on to other topics,” they wrote. “To date and time, you still have not issued a full statement on this terror happening on Milwaukee’s streets. Neither have you ordered the flags be flown at half-staff in honor of this fallen hero.”

Flags at half staff Flags at half staff

Recent history shows that both Evers himself and Gov. Scott Walker ordered flags flown at half-staff by the day after other officers’ deaths and ordered the flags lowered until sunset on the day of their funerals.

Peter Jerving, 37, with four years on the force, was fatally shot Tuesday on the city’s south side during a foot chase involving a robbery suspect. Jerving’s funeral is scheduled for Monday.

“At a time when law enforcement morale is at an all-time low, departments across the state are hurting for good officers, and citizens are deeply worried about public safety this is an insufficient response from Wisconsin’s Governor,” the legislators wrote.

“We the undersigned members of the Wisconsin Legislature implore you to show dignity and compassion by ordering all flags to be lowered across the state until the day after this selfless public servant, Officer Jerving, is laid to rest. The day after Officer Matthew Rittner was killed in the line of duty, on February 7, 2019, you ordered flags to be flown at half-staff until his funeral. We would expect nothing less for Officer Peter Jerving.”

Flags at half staff


Meanwhile, a flag was flown at half-staff in front of a squad memorial for Jerving at police district 4.

Flags at half staff


We found that these Milwaukee officers’ deaths were handled differently:

Milwaukee Police Officer Matthew Rittner

Milwaukee police officer matthew rittner
Milwaukee police officer matthew rittner

When Milwaukee Police Officer Matthew Rittner was killed on Feb. 6, 2019, Evers signed the proclamation on Feb. 7th for the flag to be lowered immediately until sunset of the day of the funeral.

Flags at half staff

Milwaukee Police Officer Michael Michalski

Milwaukee police officer michael michalski
Milwaukee police officer michael michalski

Milwaukee Police Officer Michael Michalski was killed on July 25, 2018. Gov. Scott Walker ordered flags to be flown at half-staff the next day and stay lowered until sunset of the day of Michalski’s funeral.

It should be noted that, according to a CBS58 article, a date for the funeral had not yet been set at the time of the proclamation.

Flags at half staff


Milwaukee Police Officer Charles Irvine

Milwaukee police officer charles irvine jr.
Milwaukee police officer charles irvine jr.

Milwaukee Police Officer Charles Irvine Jr., 23, was killed in a crash near 76th and Silver Spring on June 7th, 2018.

On the morning of June 8th, Gov. Scott Walker ordered flags to be lowered through sunset of the day of the funeral.

Flags at half staff


Legislators Letter to Gov. Evers

Dear Governor Evers,

On Tuesday, February 7, 2023, Wisconsinites awoke to the heartbreaking news that Officer Peter Jerving, was killed in the line of duty. Officer Jerving was only 37-years-old and had sacrificially served the City of Milwaukee Police Department for 4 years before his life was cut tragically short. As we now know, he was murdered by a criminal who had been in court less than 24 hours prior to this incident, facing other violent charges. Once again, this young man was out on the streets, committing crimes after his jail sentence was stayed by a soft-on-crime judge.

Governor, it took you until 11 AM to even acknowledge this tragic loss of this officer and then it was merely a brief tweet on social media before you moved on to other topics. To date and time, you still have not issued a full statement on this terror happening on Milwaukee’s streets. Neither have you ordered the flags be flown at half-staff in honor of this fallen hero.

At a time when law enforcement morale is at an all-time low, departments across the state are hurting for good officers, and citizens are deeply worried about public safety this is an insufficient response from Wisconsin’s Governor. We the undersigned members of the Wisconsin Legislature implore you to show dignity and compassion by ordering all flags to be lowered across the state until the day after this selfless public servant, Officer Jerving, is laid to rest. The day after Officer Matthew Rittner was killed in the line of duty, on February 7, 2019, you ordered flags to be flown at half-staff until his funeral. We would expect nothing less for Officer Peter Jerving.

Furthermore, we would hope leaders such as yourself would call on all citizens in Wisconsin to support law enforcement and for community members to engage in mentorship of these young people who are illegally terrorizing our state with crime and guns. This situation has become dire, and our youth need guidance and hope to lead them on a better path for the sake of our entire state.

Sincerely,

Rep. Barbara Dittrich

Rep. Bob Donovan

Sen. Jesse James

Rep. John Spiros

 

 

 

 

_________________________

Rep. John Spiros

86th Assembly District

Jim Piwowarczykhttps://www.wisconsinrightnow.com/
Jim Piwowarczyk is an investigative journalist and co-founder of Wisconsin Right Now.
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