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Cops Declare No Confidence in Ravnsborg: We Need a New Attorney General Immediately

In 2018, the South Dakota Fraternal Order of Police endorsed Jason Ravnsborg over a far more experienced prosecutor for Attorney General. Ravnsborg also claimed he had the endorsement of a majority of South Dakota’s sheriffs.

Now the SDFOP and the SD Sheriffs Association are joining the South Dakota Police Chiefs’ Association in calling for killer Jason Ravnsborg to resign:

Ravnsborg’s involvement in the death of Joe Boever on September 12th have resulted in a lack of confidence in his ability to effectively carry out his duties as the chief law enforcement officer in South Dakota [SDFOP, SDPCA, and SDSA, press release, as posted on KELO-TV, 2021.02.26].

Anyone who has watched the Ravnsborg investigation videos that he tried to stifle would come away with no confidence in our Attorney General. But now the very cops who said Ravnsborg was the right man for the job in 2018 are now saying Ravnsborg cannot do that job. Who else’s assessment do you need? Jason, it’s time to quit and turn the job over to someone who can protect and serve the public.


  1. leslie 2021-02-26 18:01

    Yet Noem on CBS Face the Nation Sunday is newsworthy??

  2. Bob Newland 2021-02-26 19:45

    One wonders what confidence-inspiring qualities they saw in him originally.

  3. Mike Livingston 2021-02-26 21:40

    In 2018 anybody willing to to give Trump’s rump a lick could get elected in South Dakota, so sad but so true.

  4. jerry 2021-02-26 21:41

    Couldn’t agree more Bob Newland. What did they see other than an “R” in front of his name?

  5. Willy 2021-02-26 23:19

    Still, he only gets a misdemeanor when the victim’s glasses ended up in the front seat of his car? It’s all so offensive. I hope the family sues his ass into permanent abject poverty.

  6. Dana P 2021-02-27 07:41

    The sheriff’s association should also be having a discussion about Sheriff Volek. His actions (lack there of) that evening were appalling. Good ole boys club in action. Or sheer incompetence. Whatever it was, he shouldn’t be a law enforcement officer in this state

  7. Donald Pay 2021-02-27 09:45

    I respect law enforcement, but I don’t ever vote the way these associations demand. In fact if a law enforcement association endorses a candidate, I vote for the other guy, or, if I can’t stand the other guy, I leave it blank. My feeling is the Sheriff’s Association’s job is to protect the unqualified and the rogues out there, so they will be in support of Volek. The people get the government they deserve. They vote for dreck like Ravnesborg, Volek, and Noem. It’s their job to clean it up, otherwise they get to live with the cesspool they voted for.

  8. jake 2021-02-27 11:43

    Yeah, Donald Pay, the cesspool of GOP governance in South Dakota of the past 40 years gives us what we have today. Inbred politics gives us just that-the same as in-breeding of any species. Lame brain, mal-functioning, self-ingratiating and covering for each other’s foibles and bad laws.
    The absence of enough Democrats to keep the GOP operating in the best interest of the people has been so noticeable for years. This, sadly, will continue as long as the people who vote don’t look into the candidates more carefully and call them out for their B.S.

  9. happy camper 2021-02-27 12:41

    “Jason Ravnsborg’s unfitness for office brings everyone together” – not really. They all have very different motives, and just because they agree doesn’t mean it’s the right answer. Ravnsborg will not be reelected. The family will have their day in civil court. Your immediate desire for vengeance is clouding your judgment. Beyond the horrible accident itself and the legitimate investigation, it’s all politics. Briefly aligning yourself with Noem and allowing her to handpick an AG will be a mistake in the long run. Do you really want her to come out of this with more power and authority? The judge agrees her actions were wrong. We must maintain the fairest process, even if in the short term a corrupted one appears beneficial.

  10. bearcreekbat 2021-02-27 13:06

    I agree with happy camper that a fair procees is imperative. And my comments in the various threads about this case should not be construed to mean I think Ravnsborg is guilty of anything or ought to be convicted of any particular charge. Rather, I attempted to focus on the odd and to me inexplicable decision of deputy states attorney Sovell not to charge Ravnsborg with second degree manslaughter based on the factual allegations made public.

    Whether a prosecutor has the actual admissible evidence, and requisite skill, to prove these alleged facts to the satisfaction of jury at trial is another question altogether. Indeed, even if all the alleged facts are proven at trial, a juror might decide that they don’t satisfy the standards given to the jury in the judge’s instructions. Indeed, we could even see a case of jury nullification if a juror had strong feelings that the law or process was too unfair to obey.

    In our criminal justice system everybody deserves a day in court and a fair trial before being convicted of a criminal offense. Both the political realm and public opinion, however, are different matters and folks that find themselves in these arenas , either voluntarily or against their will, simply aren’t provided the same protections as folks facing criminal prosecution by the State.

  11. mike from iowa 2021-02-27 13:45

    Which of Ravnborg’s versions of the accident events will be tried in court? Why the special treatment by law enforcement, If he lied during the initial investigation, how can he be trusted to tell the truth in court?

  12. robin friday 2021-02-27 13:56

    It isn’t about “revenge” against one man for me. It’s about disappointment with the whole miserable process and the coverup that followed, and the way our state has handled and mishandled and failed to handle this death and every instance following the collision. It isn’t about revenge. It’s about failure to do things right and failure of the state to do the right thing. I’m ashamed of the way my state has handled this man’s death. My feeling would be the same no matter who the driver was, or who the victim was. My heart goes out to his family.

  13. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-02-27 16:31

    “It’s all politics”, Hap? It’s an unavoidably political job, elected on a partisan ballot from individuals nominated at their party conventions.

    The three major police organizations of the state have rendered a vote of no confidence in the Attorney General. Our top law enforcement official lacks the trust and support necessary to do his constitutional duties. He needs to step down.

    My statements there are not motivated by vengeance; they are motivated by a sober assessment of the reality of the situation.

    And I firmly believe that the person Noem picks to replace him cannot suck worse than Jason Ravnsborg. Noem’s pick will be a political tool, just like Ravnsborg, no more likely to investigate the Governor’s use of the state plane than Ravnsborg, no more likely to appeal the ruling against Amendment A than Ravnsborg, no less inclined to use the AG position as a pulpit for politically motivated lawsuits in the Supreme Court. We lose nothing by replacing Ravnsborg with a Noem appointee. We gain the removal of his incompetence and distraction from office and a step toward justice for the crime he committed.

  14. happy camper 2021-02-27 19:37

    But Cory, due process is core to our justice system. Noem took that away from Ravnsborg by releasing highly prejudicial information before his trial with public threat she would do more if he did not resign. His impeachment may not have moved forward, garnered public support you discuss above, and vastly changed opinion of legislators who will now probably vote him out. It’s a criminal act on her part. The judge deemed it unlawful the consequences are like fruit of the poison tree. Regardless of what we think we know about Ravnsborg he’s innocent until proven guilty, not by public opinion. Noem cannot be allowed to conduct herself in this manner. If you want to think about someone who should be held to the highest standard, it’s the chief executive of our state.

  15. Joe 2021-02-27 22:23

    Instead of passive-aggressive “you get the politicians you deserve” snark, how about contacting Stacey Abrams’ “Fair Fight” crew and having a conversation around expanding the voting population; engaging with folks who aren’t currently exercising the franchise.

    South Dakota’s demographics may be very different from Georgia’s, but there are tens of thousands of POC and young folks with whom to engage. Enough to flip some legislative districts and statewide races.

    Steve Hildebrand, Obama’s campaign manager lives in Sioux Falls. He’s recently retired from business and may well be game to help.

  16. happy camper 2021-02-28 08:18

    Here is the law: 1-27-1.5 (5) Records developed or received by law enforcement agencies and other public bodies charged with duties of investigation or examination of persons, institutions, or businesses, if the records constitute a part of the examination, investigation, intelligence information, citizen complaints or inquiries, informant identification, or strategic or tactical information used in law enforcement training.

    Kennecke at Kelo did a good report, but still, nobody in the press is directly making an issue with Noem breaking the law. She wants to rid herself of an embarrassing problem that could cloud her national ambitions and you’re giving her a pass on illegal, unethical behavior because your focus is getting rid of Ravnsborg.

    This information has never been given out before. Kennecke cites Lifescape: “We are not permitted to release any evidence in a criminal case other than through discovery to the defendant/defense attorney.” But when Noem breaks the law: “The Department of Public Safety was directed by the governors’ office to release this information as part of her commitment to be transparent in this case.”

  17. happy camper 2021-02-28 08:21

    Sorry, should have included the full title: Section 1-27-1.5 – Certain records not open to inspection and copying

  18. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-02-28 09:13

    Joe, why haven’t those POCs already engaged and upended this one-party regime? What are the factors our Stacey Abrams would have to address to remove those obstacles and bring those election-turners to the polls?

  19. happy camper 2021-02-28 11:48

    I’ve been pondering why the liberal press (like Cory) is not making an issue of Noem breaking the law, unless they have a strategy to get rid of Ravngborg first and revisit this later. But it seems to me there is a risk of it falling out of the news cycle. Republicans themselves are even speaking out to the Yankton Press “an inappropriate decision for the governor” ….. “It raises a real question for the trial on the misdemeanors — are they going to be undone by his jury beforehand?”…. “Have we tainted the jury pool?” …. “It was clearly inappropriate to release that, I do a lot of criminal law and that’s just not the way that you do that.” He brought up one of the country’s founding legal principles on the matter. “Everybody’s entitled to a fair trial and a fair recitation of the facts,” he said. “When action is taken to violate that precious right that we all have, that’s just not right.”

    It’s more than just not right, her actions are illegal. Of course be prepared for her to blame the Department of Public Safety and say they should have told her, but right now Tom Lawrence could fit this into a national story or she may get off scot-free. Worth noting we now all know these people read the blogs probably to gauge strategy. I want her taken down! We deserve better!!!

  20. Roger Elgersma 2021-02-28 23:10

    Since the only way to have a hole in a windshield is if something passed through the hole, it seems that the body had to land on the front seat. The glass was flanged inward so it did not slide back out. Which poses the question of how the body got out on the side of the road. That is basic physics of the momentum of the body and the type of window.
    Now the speculation. If Jason indeed did want to cover it up, and he has the power of prosecuting or not prosecuting the crooks that cops catch, would he have leverage to get the sheriff to cover it up? Good cops do not want to be bullied by an AG that wants to cover up crime. Obviously the cops would either totally be for the AG who they have to work with, or totally get rid of him if he is a crook.

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