Oct 18, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Pete Buttigieg returning donation from Chicago attorney tied to murder case

Mayor Pete at an event in Georgia. Photo: Paras Griffin/WireImage via Getty Images

Mayor Pete Buttigieg is refunding a $5,600 donation from a former Chicago attorney who tried to block the release of a video showing a police officer fatally shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

Why it matters: The former city attorney, Steve Patton, was co-hosting a Buttigieg event, the Associated Press reported earlier today. After Axios reached out for comment, his campaign said Patton is no longer attending or co-hosting that event, which was scheduled for tonight, and he's refunding all donations previously received from Patton.

"Transparency and justice for Laquan McDonald is more important than a campaign contribution," Chris Meagher, the campaign's communications director, told Axios. "We are returning the money he contributed to the campaign and the money he has collected. He is no longer a co-host for the event and will not be attending."

The big picture: Several polls — including CNN in July and the Post & Courier in May — have showed Buttigieg polling at 0% among black voters.

  • And in June, a white police officer in South Bend, Ind., where Buttigieg is mayor, fatally shot a black man.
  • That ignited protests in the area and Buttigieg drew national criticism for his handling of the situation.

Buttigieg also faced criticism for firing the city's first black police chief not long after he took office.

  • He has promised to "do better" and has released a plan to fight systemic racism.

The bottom line: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot released a report earlier this week that found Chicago Police Department officers took part in a massive cover-up of the 2014 shooting.

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