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Community members talk protesters at Mayor Pete rally

NOW: Community members talk protesters at Mayor Pete rally

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - During a rally hosted by African American leaders in South Bend, protesters grabbed the microphone and attempted to hijack the message.

we are hearing more about the message that was received.

The disruptive community meeting is still the buzz around South Bend, on social media and beyond.

Some feel this campaign isn't doing enough for the city while others thought the protest went too far.

African American city leaders rallied on Wednesday to announce their support of presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, citing the several things he has done for the community.

But the night was interrupted when protesters started to speak out.
One protester grabbed the mic from the podium and spoke about the need for police reform.

Tyree Bonds is someone who cares deeply about the subject of police brutality and improving community relations. That's because he is the brother of car break-in suspect Eric Logan who was shot and killed by police in June.

He stepped in to stop the disruption.

“I don’t want nobody thinking we were down there for violence trying to break something up. It wasn’t about that. We wanted to express our opinion too,” Bonds said.

He said the protestor shouldn’t have grabbed the mic but also says the people running the rally should have allowed him to speak.

When asked whether this was the right venue for him to speak his piece, Bonds said, “No. I don’t. We should have let them done what they’ve done and had our own press conference.”

“There’s a way to do everything. There’s a place and a space for everything. Doing things like that, being disruptive, disrespectful, you’re not going to be heard,” Former South Bend City Clerk Kareemah Fowler, now the CFO for South Bend Schools said.

She said that city leaders will always listen to ideas from community members when in the right platform.

“Last night didn’t help. I don’t believe last night furthered the cause,” Fowler said.

Bonds said the rally supporting Mayor Pete didn't capture the true feelings of the people since it was hosted by city officials and not community leaders.

“You work for the city. You work for the city, you’re not going to say anything because you’ll lose your jobs,” Bonds said.

He said real problems need to be addressed which is why he wants to host his own press conference.

“Real people to step up and to really start helping the real community,” he said.

Fowler said the city leaders had a right to their rally to voice their support their way.

“As well as they have the right to do what they want because of freedom of speech, why should this group be silenced?” she said. “These are the leaders in our community that has been behind the scenes a lot of times doing the work. You don’t ever really see those pastors or those people on tv.”

Bonds said he will fight for a better South Bend.

“If I let this keep on going then my brother died for no reason. I want to change for somebody else's kids. I want to change it for my sons coming up,” he said.

Fowler said the event was great despite the disruption.

Bonds tells ABC57 they do hope to hold a press conference soon.

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