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Swalwell presses Buttigieg on police-involved South Bend shooting: ‘You’re the mayor, you should fire the chief’

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) needled Mayor Pete Buttigieg on his handling of a police-involved shooting in his hometown of South Bend, Ind., telling Buttigieg on the Democratic debate stage that he should fire the city’s police chief.

{mosads}While Buttigieg said he “accept[s] responsibility” for the shooting, in which a white police officer fatally shot a 54-year-old black man, Swalwell interrupted to tell the mayor: “You should fire the chief.”

“So, under Indiana law, this will be investigated and there will be accountability for the officer involved,” Buttigieg replied. 

“But you’re the mayor,” Swalwell fired back.

He reiterated: “You’re the mayor. You should fire the chief, if that’s the policy and someone died.”

Swalwell’s 2020 campaign has made addressing gun violence a prime focus. During the debate, when asked what issue he would first combat as president, he said “ending gun violence.”

As Swalwell jabbed at Buttigieg, the mayor’s facial expression quickly gained traction on Twitter. CNN editor-at-large Chris Cillizza described Buttigieg’s look as a “death stare.”

Swalwell and Buttigieg are two of 10 Democratic 2020 hopefuls who took the stage for Thursday night’s debate in Miami.

Tags 2020 Democratic debate Eric Swalwell Pete Buttigieg Rachel Maddow South Bend shooting
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