South Bend mayor says he’s ‘very open’ to independent investigation of Sunday’s fatal officer-involved shooting

By Kylie Walker | ABC 57
June 19, 2019

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. —- South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg said at a press conference on Wednesday he would not rule out having an independent prosecutor investigate Sunday’s deadly officer-involved shooting.

The request for an independent comes from various community members. On Wednesday, ‘Faith in Indiana’ called for the following:

• An independent prosecutor to investigate and file criminal charges to the fullest extent of the law.
• Enhanced Implicit bias training for the police department
• Review and revision of use of force policies and training
• Implementation of Peacemaker Fellowships, which identifies and focuses attention on those most likely to engage in gun violence, and thereby can reduce the intensity and lethality of other interactions.

“There are a lot of different entities that might be able to do that of course right now we have the two steps that we’ve talked about metro homicide and then internal affairs,” said Mayor Buttigieg. “But I would not rule out another independent layer in order to build trust and confidence in finding the facts.”

On Tuesday, the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office along with members of the County Metro Homicide Unit provided an update on the case. Investigators revealed the following:

  1. Sgt. Ryan O’Neill is the officer involved,
  2. What investigators described as the tactical knife Logan had in his hand when he allegedly approached O’Neill with the knife raised,
  3. And the fact that O’Neill’s body camera was not activated at the time of the shooting.

“This is an extremely tragic time in our community,” said Lynn Coleman, a former SBPD police officer.

Coleman joined several other faith leaders, South Bend Common Council President Tim Scott, South Bend Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski, and other black community members at Wednesday’s press conference inside the IUSB’s Civil Rights Heritage Center. Michael Patton, President PD the local NAACP chapter, shared his reaction to the shoot that has shaken the community.

“I was saddened and troubled both by what had occurred in our community,” said Patton.

Mayor Buttigieg said the city continues to lift up Logan’s family. However, he said more needs to happen that goes beyond the updates to body camera policies, duty manuals, and efforts to increase diversity on the police force.

“In order to move forward we as a community are going to have to act not just talk,” said Buttigieg.

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