Sanders adviser: Police shooting controversy puts Buttigieg in 'impossible situation'

A senior adviser for Sen. Bernie Sander’s (I-Vt.) 2020 presidential campaign on Monday said recent backlash over the fatal shooting of a black man in South Bend, Ind., puts the city’s mayor and fellow 2020 hopeful Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegTrump trade deal likely to sow division in Democratic presidential field Buttigieg says he doubts consulting work for insurer led to layoffs Biden narrowly ahead in Iowa as Sanders surges, Warren drops: poll MORE (D) in an “impossible situation.”

“I won’t say it’s inopportune — it’s something that should be addressed,” Chuck Rocha told said on Hill.TV during an interview with “Rising.”

“It should be addressed very, very powerfully but it puts him in an impossible situation because I didn’t think there’s anything that he can do that will satisfy these people who are legitimately angry and upset,” he continued.

Rocha added that Buttigieg has been riding “such a high” in recent polls but predicted the situation will “bring him right back down to reality.”

Buttigieg, who has risen near the top tier of the Democratic primary field, temporarily left the campaign trail last week to address the death of Eric Logan, a 54-year-old black man who was shot and killed by a white police officer.

The officer said Logan approached him with a knife, but he said he didn’t have his body camera on at the time of the shooting.

The 37-year mayor held a town hall in the city in an attempt to address the public outcry, but tensions quickly boiled over as residents sought to get more answers.

Many residents also took issue with how the local law enforcement has long interacted with the African American community at large. Buttigieg previously faced criticism over his handling of the firing of South Bend’s black police chief and his decision not to release several tapes of police officers allegedly using racist language.

"I don’t want to seem defensive, but we have taken a lot of steps. They clearly haven’t been enough,” Buttigieg said during the town hall. “But I can’t accept the suggestion that we haven’t done anything. I acknowledge that it has not been enough, I would like as many different voices to be in the process as possible. ... It’s why we’re here.”

Buttigieg has said he would be open to appointing an independent prosecutor to investigate the shooting.

The incident renewed questions over Buttigieg's lack of popularity among black voters, which is considered a must-win demographic for Democratic candidates seeking the party’s nomination.

—Tess Bonn