South Bend family faults Buttigieg for failed police oversight after shooting

South Bend family faults Buttigieg for failed police oversight after shooting
© Greg Nash

A lawyer for the family of a black man who was fatally shot by a white officer in South Bend, Ind., has accused Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Congress avoids shutdown Harris's office undergoes difficult reset The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden to announce increased measures for omicron MORE, the mayor of the city who is running for president, of being too lax in overseeing the city’s police department.

Attorney Brian Coffman asserted that South Bend had an “acceptance” of misconduct by police officers before the shooting of Eric Logan, The Associated Press reported.


Logan, 54, was killed Sunday by Sgt. Ryan O’Neill, who confronted him 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. 

Coffman says the circumstances surrounding the shooting raised red flags and that he’s preparing a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city. 

The mayor's office told The Hill that the city "does not comment on pending litigation."  Buttigieg’s campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Coffman’s remarks.

“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,” the Buttigieg campaign wrote in an email to supporters Thursday.

“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.” 

Buttigieg, who has garnered support in the crowded 2020 Democratic primary dominated by former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenPfizer CEO says vaccine data for those under 5 could be available by end of year Omicron coronavirus variant found in at least 10 states Photos of the Week: Schumer, ASU protest and sea turtles MORE and several U.S. senators, was off the campaign trail for several days to deal with the shooting’s fallout this week. He said Friday he will skip House Majority Whip James Clyburn's (D-S.C.) famous candidate fish fry this weekend.

This week Buttigieg met with 25 leaders from South Bend's black and Hispanic neighborhoods at a scheduled community roundtable in the city's Civil Rights Heritage Museum.  

The mayor also attended a swearing-in at police headquarters where he cited the community's frustration that body cameras did not record Logan's death, urging officers to be aware of racial inequities in policing. All of the newly sworn-in officers were white, according to The Washington Post.

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