South Bend Common Council, community reacts to county prosecutor’s request for special prosecutor
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — On Monday, South Bend Common Council members responded to the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s decision to request a special prosecutor to investigate a deadly police involved shooting on June 16.
Prosecutor Ken Cotter made his announcement on Monday to seek a special prosecutor for the case of Eric Logan. Logan was shot and killed by South Bend Police Department Sgt. Ryan O’Neill.
Logan has been accused of breaking into cars near West William Street last Sunday. The prosecutor’s office reported that at the time of the shooting O’Neill’s body camera was not on when or before the shooting occurred.
According to the ‘Petition for Appointment of Special Prosecuting Attorney,’ Cotter is requesting an independent prosecutor in order “to avoid any appearance of impropriety, conflict of interest or influence.”
“The Mayor needed it, the city needed it, everybody needed it,” said Oliver Davis, District 6 South Bend Common Councilman.
During a memorial and rally last week, the community called for the Mayor and Common Council to request an independent investigation into the shooting. The community claims the lack of body cam footage from O’Neill raises many questions.
“I think the people will take this well,” said Eli Cantu, who has lived in South Bend for 20 years. “This is good news for all of us here in South Bend.”
According to the prosecutor’s office, a judge has not appointed a special prosecutor. The request comes on the heels of a heated town hall with the mayor and South Bend Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski on Sunday.
On Monday, Eric Logan’s brother, Tyree Bonds, said he is glad the prosecutor requested a special prosecutor. However, he said the family is not happy with how the town hall went.
“We need the truth,” Bonds said. “All the rest of the stuff my family don’t have nothing to do with it.”
Mayor Buttigieg released the following statement regarding Cotter’s request:
“I respect and support Prosecutor Cotter’s decision to seek an outside, special prosecutor to investigate the circumstances of Eric Logan’s death. Our community is in anguish, and for all of us to come to terms with what happened, it is vital that the investigation be fair, thorough, and impartial,” said Nimbilasha Cushing, who has lived in South Bend since 1990c said the outgoing mayor has more work to do in the city.
“I think that he has absolutely made mistakes,” said Cushing. “But I have a belief in him as a person.”