Family remembers life of Eric Logan a year later

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -  A year has passed since South Bend’s own officer-involved shooting of car break-in suspect Eric Logan.

Tuesday, family, friends and community members remembering Logan’s life and how his name has made some big changes in the city with more to come.

Names like Eric Logan live on through systemic changes in city government, police departments, and even throughout the community.

Family, friends, and community members are using Tuesday to remember Logan but to also encourage more change in South Bend going forward.

On June 16th, 2019 car break-in suspect Eric Logan was shot and killed by officer Ryan O’Neill by the Central High Apartments in South Bend.

“I told people the day my brother got killed I would never stop to I get what I need to get from my brother… justice. We got to keep on fighting this fight. We can't be quiet no longer.”

Logan’s death sparking outrage in the city,” Tyree Bonds, Logan’s brother said.

Eventually, officer O’Neill resigned and a special investigation started.  In March, the results were out finding that O’Neill was justified in his actions that day.

And Tuesday, a year later, family members like Bonds still get emotional thinking about their loss.

“It’s hard. I mean it’s hard,” Bonds said. “I can't give up even though I can cry I can be sad at the same time. I still want to fight for cause I want to change for my kids, my kids’ kids.”

Since that June, there have been some changes made to use of force policies and talks of a discipline matrix holding officers accountable.

But not all are hopeful.

“I have to sit back and wait and watch and see,” Bonds said. “They have a whole bunch of promises. And that's something we don’t want anymore.”

“Because the mayor made his statement just yesterday, we are hopeful, not totally convinced, but we are heading in the right direction,” Ivy Butler, the family’s’ pastor said.

Family and friends not wanting Eric Logan’s name to be left in the past.

“They have been positive in their thinking and their actions in their movement. So, to see them now a year later, and they prepare to march they can put a smile on their face to say change is coming. And they're hopeful. They're hopeful. They wouldn't be here right now saying we’re trying to make a difference if they didn’t feel that there was hope,” Butler said.

“I am proud of the city, even though you know, we still have a long way to go,” Bonds said.

Bonds said he knows his brother is proud too.

“He already proud, he already proud. He's proud. We fighting. We are strong. We're not here doing stupid stuff,” he said. “We fighting a real fight.”

The family encouraging loud voices but peaceful protests and that is exactly how it has been even now while there continue to be protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.

“It’s a shame it took this long in that situation to bring most up to the forefront. He got killed a year ago and it was peaceful. Then more people get killed and more people get killed and more people get killed then sooner or later then it’s just like a candle. No sooner or later that candle, you know, catch a light,” he said.

Bonds have been adamant from the beginning that there needs to change not just in the police department but out in the community as well.

He said that as more officer-involved deaths keep happening, people are growing tired.

And today’s memorial for Eric Logan not only allows for remembrance of life but for his name to live on through change in our community.

“We are coming together as a fight this fight together, we are showing the world, we can still do it in the middle of everything was going on. I still gonna have a smile even though I’ll be sad,” he said.

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