Some Wisconsin Republicans criticized Gov. Tony Evers in a letter Thursday for his delayed response regarding a Milwaukee police officer killed in the line of duty earlier this week.
Milwaukee police officer Peter Jerving was fatally shot early Tuesday while attempting to arrest robbery suspect Terrell Thompson, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Thompson, 19, reportedly exchanged gunfire with Jerving and another officer as they pursued him, resulting in the deaths of both Jerving and Thompson.
The letter, authored by Republican Reps. Barbara Dittrich, Bob Donovan, John Spiros and Sen. Jesse James, called Evers’ Tuesday morning tweet on Jerving’s death "an insufficient response from Wisconsin's Governor."
The four lawmakers asked for a formal statement from the Governor's office to order flags to be flown at half-mast. Their letter referenced a 2019 statement from Evers ordering flags to half-staff a day after the passing of Milwaukee officer Matthew Rittner, who also died in the line of duty.
Evers announced flags would fly at half-staff during funeral proceedings on Feb. 13 to “mourn the tragic loss of Milwaukee Police Department officer Peter Jerving” in a tweet shortly after noon Thursday. Evers’ announcement came just minutes before Republicans delivered their letter, according to the Journal Sentinel.
The Governor’s office declined to comment further on the issue Thursday, instead directing The Daily Cardinal to Evers' previous statements on Twitter.
Jerving, 37, was responding to reports of a robbery Tuesday, and the incident occurred hours after Thompson had been sentenced to probation on two misdemeanor counts of hit-and-runs, according to the Journal Sentinel. Thompson would have served time in jail if he failed probation.
It is unclear whether Thompson died from self-inflicted gunshot wounds or police gunfire, according to the Journal Sentinel.
Zoe Kukla is a Graphics Editor, state news reporter, and photographer for The Daily Cardinal. Follow her on Twitter at @ZoeKukla.