On Monday, the South Bend, Indiana, police union issued a press release absolutely ripping Mayor Pete Buttigieg, saying, “For Mayor and Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg to make disparaging remarks such as ‘All Police work and all of American Life takes place in the shadow of racism’ is divisive. Mayor Buttigieg’s focus on this incident is solely for his political gain and not the health of the city he serves.”
The incident the press release was referencing was the June 16 shooting of Eric Logan, who was black and was shot and killed by officer Sgt. Ryan O’Neill. Fox News explained, “O’Neill, who is white, was responding to a report of a suspicious person breaking into cars when investigators said he fired one shot that hit Logan and another that missed after Logan threatened him with a knife. The investigators said O’Neill’s body camera wasn’t automatically activated because he was driving slowly without emergency lights while looking through an apartment building parking lot.”
On June 20, as The Hill noted, Buttigieg issued a campaign email in which he stated:
While the case is still being investigated, we do know this: a South Bend family is enduring the crushing and inconsolable anguish that far too many Black and Latino families across the country have shared … Our city, and our nation, demands answers about the dynamic between our police officers and the communities they are sworn to protect. All police work and all of American life takes place in the shadow of racism, which hurts everyone and everything it touches. Historic racism, present-day racism, and generational racism – they all secrete a kind of poison into the bloodstream of this country.
As Axios reported, the South Bend Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #36 stated, “Mayor Buttigieg’s comments have already and will continue to have a detrimental effect on local law enforcement officers and law enforcement officers nationwide. Mayor Buttigieg’s comments and actions are driving a wedge between law enforcement officers and the community they took an oath to serve.”
Axios noted that Rep. Marcia Fudge, former chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, told the Daily Beast, “Pete has a black problem. I don’t know of one black person out of Indiana that supports him.”
The press release continued by slamming Buttigieg for ignoring other incidents, specifically mentioning the shooting on Sunday at Kelly’s Pub in South Bend in which one person died and as many as 10 others were wounded, and the incident last Wednesday in South Bend in which a 16-year-old boy was arrested in connection with the shooting of 17-year-old Darnell A. Tobar. The release asserted:
Mayor Buttigieg has in no way unified the community. Mayor Buttigieg continues to only focus on one incident and one family. Buttigieg has yet to comment on the largest mass shooting in the recent history of South Bend or on one juvenile killing another this week. Buttigieg’s focus on one family has left several others ostracized. He has not spoken to the families involved with the Kelly’s Pub Shooting, the South Bend Police family, or the family of Sgt. O’Neill, all of whom are suffering greatly.
The release ended with this:
In conclusion, the members of FOP #36 plead with the community in the wake of this difficult time that we come together. In a short time, Mayor Buttigieg will no longer be the leader of this great city. However, the South Bend Police Department and the residents of South Bend will still be here. If we are to grow and change for the better, it will require us to set political agendas aside and simply come together.