Protesters disrupt African-American city leaders announcing support for Buttigieg
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- African-American city leaders showing their support for Mayor Pete Buttigieg at the Charles Martin Youth Center Wednesday.
The event comes as Buttigieg struggles on the campaign trail to gain black support, according to a recent Quinnipiac Poll. South Bend city leaders said they wanted to change the national conversation.
“People kept coming to me and saying should we do something as blacks in South Bend, should we do something to show we support Pete,” Gladys Muhammad said, who manages the Charles Martin Youth Center.
Six local elected officials spoke about their experiences working with the outgoing Mayor and presidential hopeful but protestors also made sure they were heard.
One Black Lives Matter protestor grabbed the microphone from the councilwoman Sharon McBride at the podium while the rest chanted in attempts to drown out what was being said.
Councilwoman Karen White said that their behavior wasn’t a surprise.
“You know I was not surprised that you have people who may not see or may not have those levels of experiences with Mayor Pete,” White said.
After getting ahold of the microphone, the protestor began criticizing Buttigieg for not handling a “crisis over police violence” in the city.
The South Bend chapter of the Black Lives Matter group was at the center of the controversial officer-involved shooting of theft-suspect Eric Logan over the summer. The group continuously demanding Buttigieg resigns in the wake of the shooting.
At one point the protestor who got a hold of the microphone was held back by Logan’s own brother, Tyree Bonds.
Solomon Anderson, a supporter of Buttigieg for President and a lifelong South Bend resident, called the group’s behavior at the event embarrassing.
“I think some people just complain just to complain, they don’t have any solutions, and they don’t have any answers,” Anderson said. “I think he’s done a good job as mayor.”
Despiter the interruption, Muhammad said she still thinks the event was successful.
“Nobody’s perfect, Pete’s not perfect but he has done a lot of good things for the city of South Bend and the African-American community just wanted people to hear that,” Muhammad said.
The BLM group was approached after the event for comment, but they declined to interview. Sources identified the protesters as Bernie Sanders supporters, some were seen at the event wearing Sanders gear.