A Republican state senator is calling out DFL legislators for not attending the funeral of fallen Pope County Deputy Josh Owen on Saturday.
Deputy Owen was shot to death April 15, his 44th birthday, while responding to a domestic assault call in Cyrus, Minn.
“Honestly, I was shocked that I did not see a single Democrat state legislator at Josh Owen’s funeral,” Republican Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, said. Another state representative who was in attendance confirmed his observation.
Some believe they decided to not show up after Owen’s widow, Shannon, told Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz to not attend the funeral.
Shannon Owen told Alpha News she didn’t want him there because he doesn’t support law enforcement.
“Why would I want him there when he would only be there for himself and not the law enforcement community?” she asked.
Walz briefly addressed her request during an appearance on WCCO Radio.
“I will respect the family’s wishes. I don’t want to do or say anything that adds to any pain they already have,” he said. “Gwen and I are keeping them in our thoughts.”
It took more than two days for Walz to order flags to half-staff following Owen’s death. He also changed the timeline from lowering the flags for one day to several days after public backlash.
Walz made no mention of the fallen deputy during his State of the State address last week.
Asked about no DFL state legislator attending her husband’s funeral, Shannon Owen said she never said anything about that.
“My parents are Democrats,” she mentioned. “I’d never say that.”
“We so desperately need unity now more than ever. An attack on a law enforcement officer is an attack on us all,” Limmer commented.
Alpha News reached out to both the Senate and House DFL caucus for comment but did not receive a response.