SOUTH BEND, Indiana – A presidential candidate is under fire from his community after failing to implement measures that citizens say would have stopped an officer from utilizing deadly force.
At least that’s what the press is saying.
After an officer involved shooting in which 54-year-old Eric Logan was killed by lethal force in South Bend, Indiana, controversy sparked over racial concerns within the department.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg took heavy criticism over his lack of policy changes that were designed to supposedly improve police-community relations and instill more trust in the local force.
Buttigieg took time off the campaign trail this past week to deal with his community’s response to the shooting. The presidential hopeful took responsibility for his administration’s failure to implement two key initiatives with local law enforcement.
The shooting reportedly was not captured on the officer’s body camera. Mayor Buttigieg reportedly said that he would send a letter to the federal Department of Justice’s civil rights division and also notify the prosecutor that he’d like for an independent investigator to be appointed to review the fatal shooting.
While everyone is seemingly focused on the racial narrative, barely anyone is questioning the reasoning behind the shooting incident and the armed suspect.
“The effort to recruit more minority officers to the police department and the effort to introduce body cameras have not succeeded and I accept responsibility for that,” Buttigieg said.
The current mayor and 2020 contender took some criticism from the audience as he addressed South Bend residents on Sunday.
“Get the people that are racist off the streets,” one woman in the crowd yelled. “Reorganize your department. You can do that by Friday.”
So according to Buttigieg’s claim, if more minority officers were hired into the department, this wouldn’t have happened?
“Part of my job is to promote healing and to make sure that members of the community, especially the black community who are concerned with whether they can trust the police, even as details are still coming out about the specific issue,” Buttigieg said, evidently making the issue solely about race – not about the fact that the suspect was reportedly armed and dangerous.
BREAKING: The family of Eric Logan is filing a federal civil-rights lawsuit against South Bend.
Their lawyer says they will claim a pattern by the Buttigieg administration of looking the other way when it comes to police violating civil rights.https://t.co/GvPQxvGLXC
— Jonathan Larsen (@jtlarsen) June 19, 2019
Let’s go back to the story about the original shooting and what allegedly occurred.
Sgt. Ryan O’Neill was responding to reports of someone breaking into cars downtown when he encountered Logan, who was allegedly armed with a knife, authorities said.
Logan then allegedly approached the officer with the knife. O’Neill then fired at Logan, who was taken to a hospital and soon after pronounced dead. O’Neill was treated for minor injuries, though criticism arose over the fact that his body-worn camera was not recording during the shooting.
How come? Officials say it’s because the emergency lights, dashboard camera and body camera are all connected. Because O’Neill had not turned on his lights, neither the dash video nor body cam were activated.
But Buttigieg says that the way the system currently works is no good, and so they need to find a new process for investigating these types of incidents.
And he says he wants to involve the community in that process.
“I recognize that there’s not a lot of confidence in the process and so we are going to figure out a better process,” Buttigieg said Friday. “And by we, I don’t mean me. I’m not going to sit behind a desk, think up a better process, put it in place and then ask you all to accept it. We are going to figure out a way to involve the community in improving the process.”
- READ: NEWSPAPER SHARES LIVESTREAM OF OFFICER’S DEATH, REPLACES WITH CHARACTER ATTACK ON DEAD COP WHEN CALLED OUT
But does the community belong in this kind of investigation? This should not be an open invitation for retrospect and Monday Morning Quarterbacks. These shootings should be investigated by professionals. Public crucifixions and emotional knee-jerk reactions will get us nowhere. This should not be a debate for social media. These are people’s lives.
How many times have we seen violent outbursts against police after a completely justified shooting? Are we going to let the masses decide what’s justified and what isn’t?
Just earlier this month, two-dozen officers were injured when violent protesters threw bricks and bottles at police.
Another officer was assassinated in public after a teenager walked eight miles to kill him. And then they laughed when he was arrested.
Onlookers applauded a crazed gunman’s act of violence when he viciously murdered Sacramento officer Tara O’Sullivan.
PO Tara O’Sullivan was killed while helping a domestic violence victim gather belongings. As she lay dying, bystanders celebrated saying the officer deserved to be shot. After years of vilification by activists/media/pols based on false narratives, this is the reality cops face. https://t.co/B6qbVWVoNS
— NYCPBA-GC (@NYCPBA_GC) June 21, 2019
This cannot be the standard that we operate at. Yes, there are bad cops out there. And we need to root them out. But it’s been proven time and time again that there are far worse people out there… willing to commit horrific acts of violence against others… who prey on the weak… who call for the deaths of our protectors.
We, as a country, should never allow evil to triumph.