Buttigieg, Ruszkowski face angry protesters at "Justice for South Bend" march
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Passionate pleas for justice at a protest in South Bend were heard by both Mayor Pete Buttigieg and police Chief Scott Ruszkowski.
A crowd gathered outside the South Bend Police Department Friday to march for “Justice for South Bend.” They handed Mayor Pete a list of demands before the march, one of which called for the firing of the police officers involved in the fatal shooting of 54-year old Eric Logan.
Angry protesters confronted Buttigieg and Ruszkowski over their discontent with the police force.
“We set up the body cameras right? And then they failed us when we needed them so if you’re saying it’s not good enough then you’re right,”Buttigieg said, responding to a question about why the officer who shot Logan did not have his body cam on.
Demands for the two city leaders to fire the police officers, Ryan O’Neill and Aaron Kneeper, for allegations of racism were not satisfied. Ruszkowski said there’s not enough evidence yet in the case for them to make that decision appropriately.
“There are police officers on this department and other departments that don’t belong here but there are the majority of the police officers on this force 100% are honesty, integrity and accountable,” Ruszkowski said to the crowd.
Logan’s family also addressed the mayor and police chief with their concerns.”
“My brother dead we want answers,” Tyreese Logan said, Eric’s brother. “I know a lot of officers is cool, real cool, but you got a whole bunch of them on this force that shouldn’t even be on this force and you know they shouldn’t.”
Buttigieg made promises to the crowd. He agreed to a demand from the protesters that the he will sign a petition for the Department Of Justice to investigate the South Bend Police Department.
After satisfying the public’s questions, both Buttigieg and Ruszkowski walked alongside the protesters to the County City Building where the addressed the crowd once again promising to come up with a solution together. Buttigieg said he would organize a town hall for the community to continue to voice their concerns.
Buttigieg’s presence at the protest was met with both criticism and appreciation by those who marched.
“His presence here with everything he has going on, it shows a lot,” Brendan Watts said.
“Yes he’s a decent politician it was good that he showed up it was courageous but I think people have to be very skeptical,” Paul Mishler said.
“I think that there’s going to be purpose in the march, purpose for the mayor and the chief showing up, and I believe that yes there will be answers in us coming together,” Debra Givens said.