Over 500 faith leaders and families address gun violence at summit

By Ibrahim Samra | WNDU Ch. 16 South Bend
Oct. 7, 2019

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) – Over 500 faith leaders and families packed into Pentecostal Cathedral Church for a Peacemaker Summit Sunday.

“We need to press forward to make us and our communities safe,” one faith leader said.

The event, hosted by Faith In Indiana, brought many familiar faces including Mayor Pete Buttigieg, South Bend Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski, South Bend Common Council President Tim Scott, and South Bend mayoral candidates James Mueller and Sean Haas.

Several officials committed to fighting against gun violence, something South Bend has seen too often as of late.

“By the end of the summer, 79 people have been killed or injured as a result of gun violence,” another faith leader explained.

One of those people was 54-year-old Eric Logan, who was shot and killed by police back in June. Logan also a big focus in tonight’s summit.

“Trust between community members and the police is crucial for breaking cycles of violence among residents,” said Buttigieg.

One person who agreed with that statement was Eric Logan’s brother, Tyree Bonds, who also spoke at Sunday’s summit.

“I’m standing here for my brother like everybody know. We go to fight to make change in our community,” Bonds said. “If we want South Bend to change, we have to do it as a unified family.”

Buttigieg says change won’t be easy, but the easiest way to make change is to do it together.

“It will not be easy for some members of the law enforcement community and some members of the black community to hear each other,” Buttigieg said. “The place we need to get to is the awareness that we amount to one family responsible for one another’s well being.

Buttigieg says along with his commitment to bringing more gun reform to the city, he will also be including $350,000 in next year’s budget for violence reduction initiatives if approved at next week’s council meeting.

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