Jun 27, 2019

South Bend police shooting: Family of slain man sues city, officer

 Democratic presidential candidate South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg addresses the crowd at the 2019 South Carolina Democratic Party State Convention on June 22.

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

The family of a black man fatally shot by a white police officer in South Bend, Indiana, filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against the officer and the city, WSBT first reported.

Details: In the suit, the family of Eric Logan, 54, accuses Sgt. Ryan O'Neill of using excessive deadly force during the shooting, according to the South Bend Tribune. They allege Logan endured unlawful treatment because of his race, per the Tribune. Southbend Mayor Pete Buttigeig paused his 2020 campaign to deal with the fallout from the June 16 shooting, facing a tense town hall Sunday.

What they're saying: Police say Logan was armed with a knife and was breaking into cars when he was shot by O'Neill, per CNN. South Bend's police union accused Buttigeig of making decisions on the city's officer-involved shooting "solely for his political gain" for his Democratic presidential campaign.

The big picture: Buttigieg issued a direction for police officers to wear body cameras at all times after investigators found O'Neal's wasn't recording at the time of the shooting. A special prosecutor was requested to probe the fatal shooting.

  • Buttigeig said at the town hall he'd write to the Justice Department to request its civil rights division look into the shooting and notify the local prosecutor that he'd like to see the appointment of an independent investigator.

Why it matters: The case is seen by many as a test of Buttigieg's leadership skills. Some critics have suggested Buttigieg has a history of alienating minorities in South Bend. A June poll shows nearly half of African Americans surveyed don't know him.

  • Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), the former chairperson of the Congressional Black Caucus, told The Daily Beast Monday, "Pete has a black problem. I don’t know of one black person out of Indiana that supports him."

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