Buttigieg responds to fatal police shooting

Buttigieg responds to fatal police shooting
© Greg Nash

South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul Buttigieg2020 Democrats defend climate priorities in MSNBC forum MSNBC Climate Change Forum draws 1.3M viewers in 8 pm timeslot Iowa Steak Fry to draw record crowds for Democrats MORE addressed the fatal police shooting of a black man in the Indiana city in a campaign email Thursday night.

The man, Eric Logan, was killed Sunday by Sgt. Ryan O’Neill, who confronted Logan while responding to reports of a man breaking into cars.

O’Neill has said Logan approached him with a knife, but he did not have his body camera on at the time of the shooting.

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“While the case is still being investigated, we do know this: a South Bend family is enduring the crushing and inconsolable anguish that far too many Black and Latino families across the country have shared,” Buttigieg wrote in the email.

The 37-year-old mayor and presidential candidate went on to discuss the fraught dynamics of the case pertaining to relations between the police and black communities.

“Our city, and our nation, demands answers about the dynamic between our police officers and the communities they are sworn to protect,” the email reads.

"All police work and all of American life takes place in the shadow of racism, which hurts everyone and everything it touches. Historic racism, present-day racism, and generational racism – they all secrete a kind of poison into the bloodstream of this country," he added.

Logan’s family said in a press conference Monday that he was on his way to his mother’s house from a family gathering at the time of his death and had not been carrying a knife.

In the email, Buttigieg pledged that regardless of the investigation’s outcome, his office intended to seek feedback from community members to address such issues.

“In new ways, we will elicit community input on the policies that decide how the police department does its work – policies on body cameras, the use of force, and the prevention of bias – and we will empower community members to help shape how these policies are put into practice,” the email states.

Buttigieg said Thursday he is open to calls for an independent prosecutor to investigate the shooting. The shooting is currently under investigation by the St. Joseph’s prosecutor’s office.

An independent probe “would be a benefit because it would help verify or shed light on what’s going on,” South Bend Councilman Oliver Davis (D) said, adding that he thinks it would be worth the money even if the city had to pay for an investigation. “Justice does cost, but not having justice costs even more.”