NOTICE – Tragedy occurred on September 12, 2020 – Joe Boever, returning to Highmore along the road, was struck and fatally killed by Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg on his way home to Pierre after a Lincoln Day dinner in Redfield .
Another tragedy has occurred every day since then – Ravnsborg has not taken full responsibility for its actions. It is for this reason that we call on him to resign immediately. If he fails to do so, we ask the state legislature to seek his impeachment.
The last thing Revnsborg said he remembered before the impact hit the bottom to turn off the radio. His eyes, allegedly averted from the road, allowed his Ford Taurus to pull out of the lane and hit the shoulder of Boever who was carrying a lit flashlight. Boever’s head went through the windshield and his glasses were later found in the car. His flashlight, still on, was found the next day along the road near where his body, dazzlingly white from the loss of blood, lay, inches from the sidewalk.
“First and foremost, I’m so sorry that Joe Boever lost his life in this accident. I’m sorry to the whole family for the loss of a loved one. They had to deal with the pain, the anger. and the sadness of that accident, “Ravnsborg said in a statement prepared on August 26 after his lawyer Tim Rensch agreed to a plea deal on Ravnsborg’s behalf. Ravnsborg did not even show up in the courtroom. hearing to face his accusers or the victim’s family.
That’s all there was for an apology, if you could call it that, it was. The rest of the statement was about how he had cooperated with law enforcement and touted his achievements in power.
Now accidents happen. They happen every day. Sometimes people are injured or even killed in these accidents. This is not why we are calling for his resignation.
But when that state’s top law enforcement official is the cause of one of these fatal accidents, and then he is utterly misleading and dishonorable in his subsequent actions, it’s time for him to go. .
He has eroded the confidence and faith necessary for his office.
Already, the South Dakota Sheriff’s Association has called for his resignation.
The South Dakota Association of Police Chiefs has called for his resignation.
The South Dakota Fraternal Order of Police has called for his resignation.
The Army Reserve has suspended promotion of Ravnsborg, recognizing the seriousness of the matter.
Governor Kristi Noem called on him to resign following the accident, and once again after being convicted of two of the three offenses he was accused of. The other charge was dropped as part of his plea deal in which he pleaded no dispute.
“With today’s plea, Jason Ravnsborg’s legal process is over. Like many South Dakotas, I am not only disappointed with the way this process has been handled by prosecutors, but outraged by the outcome of today’s plea hearing and sentencing, ”Noem said. . “Ravnsborg did not accept responsibility for the death of Joseph Boever and did not even appear in court today to face the charges or the Boever family.”
Craig Price, secretary of the SD Department of Public Safety and former head of the South Dakota Highway Patrol, said in his opinion, as a law enforcement officer for 24 years, that Ravnsborg should be charged with manslaughter in the 2nd degree, a felony.
He said the documents he provided to Speaker of the House Spencer Gosch, consisting of evidence and investigators’ conclusions, were publicly challenged by Ravnsborg, and as such, “made a number of claims. who denigrated the work and reputation of the law enforcement agencies involved in this investigation.
Ravnsborg continued to show his contempt for the law as four days before his trial he received a speeding ticket – driving at 57 mph in a 35 mph zone. He also didn’t have his driver’s license with him. And it was his seventh ticket in seven years.
Lawyer Rensch and some lawmakers cited Ravnsborg’s military service in which he was awarded the Bronze Star.
“… He is an honorable man. He is not a coward. He has a bronze star to defend our country, ”said Rensch.
But honorable actions taken in the past do not give you a pass for less than honorable actions today.
The values of the military include: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage.
Ravnsborg certainly did not show personal courage when he was not present at his trial. He owed it to the family of the man he had killed to stand up and face them, to take his pieces, to let them vent their anger and frustration. This is what should have happened.
He did not show his integrity, failing to sincerely apologize or take responsibility for his actions.
He disrespected Boever or his family for trying to get Boever’s medical records admitted in court proceedings as an attempt to shift responsibility for himself causing a tragic accident, to Boever himself in perhaps, just maybe he threw himself in front of the car in an attempted suicide.
He clearly did not respect the values of the US military. It hasn’t lived up to South Dakota’s values.
We therefore join with Yankton Press & Dakotan in calling on Ravnsborg to step down immediately. Otherwise, we ask the state legislature to remove him.
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