South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg attended a town hall on Sunday that devolved into complete chaos and likely only spells bad news for the mayor’s presidential campaign.
The town hall went off the rails when Buttigieg got into the recent shooting of 54-year-old Eric Logan, a black man, by Sgt. Ryan O’Neill, a white police officer, in South Bend.
Buttigieg said he would send a letter to the Justice Department asking that their civil rights division look into the June 16 shooting of Logan. He also said he would tell the local prosecutor that he wants an independent investigator appointed in the matter.
Buttigieg at one point admitted that his city’s efforts to recruit more minority police officers and to install body cameras on police officers has not led to the results he would like to see.
The mayor said the efforts “have not succeeded and I accept responsibility for that.” Logan’s shooting was not caught on camera, according to prosecutors.
O’Neill has been placed on administrative leave following the shooting of Logan. The officer was responding to a report of a suspicious person breaking into cars when he ran into Logan. Investigators say the officer fired a two shots, one that hit Logan and one that did not, after the suspect threatened him with a knife.
Things are still tense at this South Bend town hall with Mayor Buttigieg.
Moderator asks audience shouting questions to be respectful of the mayor’s schedule.
One man yells back:
“You gotta get back to South Carolina like you was yesterday?” pic.twitter.com/xzGq6i0iRx
— Aaron Franco (@AFrancoTX) June 23, 2019
People at Buttigieg’s town hall seemed to be angry with the mayor’s constant campaigning for the Democrat Party nomination for the 2020 presidential election. The town hall was interrupted by a lot of heckling from the audience, all of it aimed directly at Buttigieg.
“You gotta get back to South Carolina like you was yesterday? Talk about ‘all lives matter’ in South Carolina?” a man yelled at the mayor at one point.
Yikes, this Mayor #Buttigieg town hall discussing (the latest) police shooting of an unarmed Black man, is a train wreck in progress. Moderator has lost control of the room. Where is #SouthBend’s communications team – or security – at this venue? #Indiana #SouthBend pic.twitter.com/fSVNqPk696
— Alphonso Van Marsh (@AlphonsoVM) June 23, 2019
“How can we trust this process?” another man, who said he was a shooting victim, said when he got an opportunity to ask the mayor a question. He said the black people of South Bend are “unheard” and he told critics to “stop telling people to shut up” in a heated moment.
The event seemed to be completely out of control with the moderator at one point simply losing all perceived leadership of the event with audience members openly debating Buttigieg.
“I don’t want to seem defensive, but we have taken a lot of steps,” the South Bend mayor said at one point in an effort to bite back at the harsh criticisms. “They clearly haven’t been enough. But I can’t accept the suggestion that we haven’t done anything.”
Lawyer Brian Coffman has said that he is filing a lawsuit against the city of South Bend on behalf of the family of Logan.
“That’s just being reactive,” the attorney told The Associated Press about Buttigieg’s town hall. “It’s not being proactive and making sure this never happened and having rules in place for South Bend police officers and body cameras.”
This town hall does not say a lot of good things about Buttigieg’s leadership. Once things went off the rails, Buttigieg was unable to to get things back on track. Not a good look for a presidential candidate.
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