By Samson Tamijani | ABC 57 South Bend
March 7, 2020
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Area interfaith groups met for an emotional procession to advocate for change Saturday.
The procession of prayers, organized by Faith in Indiana, was in light of an independent special prosecutor’s announcement Friday that a former SBPD officer will not be indicted in the shooting death of Eric Logan on June 16, 2019.
Faith leaders in the meetings Saturday took issue, calling on Mayor James Mueller to follow through on proposed policies they said would start to mend trust with the city.
Rev. J.B. Williams of Abundant Faith Family Ministry led most prayers in the procession, and backs what’s called the disciplinary matrix for first responders.
“This is one of the reasons why pastors are involved,” Williams said.
“Because (our) objective is to bring about love and harmony among all mankind. Not just one particular ethnic group, but all groups.”
It was revealed Friday the officer who pulled the trigger last summer, Ryan O’Neill, is now in jail for allegedly soliciting a prostitute while on duty one month before the shooting. O’Neill resigned from SBPD in July.
The news, Faith in Indiana said, shows the need for change.
“I pray for Ryan O’Neill,” Dion Payne-Miller, a volunteer for Faith in Indiana said.
“It seems that he has been dealing with some things within himself that he needs to pan out, and it’s now beginning to affect our community. These things affect, such as people like Eric Logan who has been shot and is dead. And I don’t think that these public officials understand the importance of paying attention to these things.”
According to Faith in Indiana, Mueller is scheduled to meet with community groups next Thursday.
The top priority, the group said, is to speed up the matrix plan of gaining better trust and accountability of authorities with communities of color.