Jun 24, 2019

Buttigieg faces tense town hall on South Bend police shooting

Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigie. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg fielded questions Sunday on a police officer-involved shooting during a tense town hall in his hometown — addressing an issue that's seen by many as a test of the Democratic presidential candidate's leadership.

Why it matters: Buttigieg took time off the 2020 campaign trail to deal with the fallout from the shooting of Eric Logan, a 54-year-old African American, by a white police officer. Buttigieg has seen his campaign soar in recent weeks, but a June poll shows nearly half of African Americans surveyed don't know him. Some critics have suggested Buttigieg has a history of alienating minorities in South Bend, Axios' Rashaan Ayesh writes.

The big picture: Buttigieg has already directed police to turn on their body cameras when interacting with civilians after it was revealed the shooting incident involving Sgt. Ryan O'Neill and Logan wasn't recorded.

  • During the town hall, Buttigieg said he would write to the Justice Department to request its civil rights division look into the June 16 shooting and he would notify the local prosecutor that he'd like to see the appointment of an independent investigator.
  • He twice had to ask the crowd to quiet down so he could address points, fielding often tough questions, including on authorities' responses and claims of systemic racism.
"I don’t want to seem defensive, but we have taken a lot of steps. They clearly haven’t been enough. But I can’t accept the suggestion that we haven’t done anything. I acknowledge that it has not been enough. I would like as many different voices to be in the process as possible. ... It’s why we’re here."

Go deeper: Pete Buttigieg on the issues, in under 500 words

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 1,237,420 — Total deaths: 67,260 — Total recoveries: 252,944Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 312,762 — Total deaths: 9.132 — Total recoveries: 15,044Map.
  3. Public health latest: CDC launches national trackers and recommends face coverings in public. Federal government will cover costs of COVID-19 treatment for uninsured. Surgeon general says this week will be "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment."
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. Biden says DNC may have to hold virtual convention.
  5. States updates: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state "literally going day-to-day" with supplies.
  6. Work update: Employees still going to work face temperature checks, distanced work stations, protective devices and mass absences.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
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Cuomo says New York is "literally going day-to-day with our supplies"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a press conference on Sunday that New York is struggling to maintain medical supplies while combatting the novel coronavirus — operating "literally" on a "day-to-day" basis.

Why it matters: New York City has become an epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, facing mass quarantines and stay-at-home orders. Cuomo said Saturday that New York reported 630 new deaths in 24 hours — an "all-time increase" that beat the previous day's record of 562 deaths.

Illinois governor: "The president does not understand the word 'federal'"

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that President Trump's comments about the federal government's stockpile of medical equipment suggest he "does not understand the word 'federal.'"

Why it matters: White House adviser Jared Kushner argued at a press briefing last week that the "notion of the federal stockpile was it’s supposed to be our stockpile; it’s not supposed to be state stockpiles that they then use."