By Max Lewis | WSBT 22 (CBS, South Bend)
June 16, 2021
Two years ago today, a police shooting sparked cries for change.
Tonight South Bend instituted some changes into the police department.
The city’s Board of Public Safety just approved a new use of force policy for the department.
It’s aimed at improving policing in the South Bend community.
The shooting of Eric Logan by white South Bend police officer Ryan O’Neill was the thing that sparked these calls for change.
Two years later those changes have happened and there could be more.
“We did a lot of work. A lot of work went into this,” said Pastor Claval Hunter.
After a year of work, the South Bend Board of Public Safety approved changes to the police department’s use of force policy that were put forward by Mayor James Mueller.
Those changes focused mostly on wording. Some of the major ones included expanding the definition of what is and isn’t an imminent threat to officer safety.
“We wanted to make sure that the public, when they encounter an officer, that they’re safe and when an officer encounters somebody that they make sure that they treat this person with respect and dignity and making sure that we protect and serve our public in a good way,” said Pastor Hunter.
Pastor Hunter is a member of Faith in Indiana. The group has been one of the major driving forces behind the policy changes.
On the anniversary of Eric Logan’s death, Hunter says he he’s glad to see some progress being made.
“This is not going to bring Mr. Eric Logan back, but to see that the police force, the mayor, the city is taking active steps to ensure that this never happens again.”
One thing the board was clear about is that this policy will be changed in the future if need be.
“This is a living document and we want the public to know that. It’s not a perfect document. It’s not going to be placed on the shelf. We’re going to do our best to make sure they continue to review this policy and keep it updated.”
Pastor Hunter said he was confident that Chief Ruszkowski and the city would do their best to make sure this policy is implemented and followed.