Buttigieg confronted by protesters after fatal police shooting
South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE (D) was confronted by protesters Friday night as the presidential hopeful and his city continue to grapple with the fallout from a fatal police shooting of a black man.
About 150 protesters approached Buttigieg and Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski with a litany of demands, from firing police officers to requiring more training programs for officers, according to the South Bend Tribune.
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The rally was just one of several events that have been held since last Sunday, when Sgt. Ryan O’Neill shot and killed Eric Logan, 54. 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.
“I’m mad because my brother died,” said Tyree Bonds, Logan’s brother, according to the newspaper. “People are getting tired of you letting your officers do whatever they want to do.”
“I have been here all my life, and you have not done a damn thing about me or my son or none of these people out here,” Shirley Newbill, Logan’s mother, told Buttigieg. “It’s time for you to do something.”
Buttigieg noted that actions the police department has taken, including instituting civil rights and other training and using body cameras, have been insufficient.
“This isn’t enough, and I get it,” he said. “We set up body cameras, right? And they failed us when we needed them. If you are saying it’s not good enough, you’re right.”
A lawyer for Logan’s family said Friday that South Bend had an “acceptance” of misconduct by police officers before the shooting and that he’s preparing a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city.
Buttigieg, who has risen near the top tier of the Democratic primary pack, left the campaign trail for several days to deal with the shooting’s fallout this week.
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.
He 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.