'Fire your cops': Mayor Pete Buttigieg faced with angry protesters as he skips presidential campaign events after a police shooting in his hometown
- South Bend, Indiana mayor and 2020 Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg was confronted by protesters this week, when he passed on a campaign event to address an officer-involved shooting of a black man in his hometown.
- "Can you say it to us today, in front of all these cameras, that black lives matter," one person asked.
- "Did you just ask me if black lives matter? Of course, black lives matter," Buttigieg said in a megaphone.
- "Then fire your cops," another person yelled.
South Bend, Indiana mayor and 2020 Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg was confronted by protesters at the end of this week, as he elected to skip a campaign event to address an officer-involved shooting of a black man in his hometown.
"Can you say it to us today, in front of all these cameras, that black lives matter?" one person asked."Did you just ask me if black lives matter? Of course, black lives matter," Buttigieg said in a megaphone.
"Then fire your cops," another person yelled.
Buttigieg paused his presidential campaign to travel back to South Bend after 54-year-old Eric Logan was shot and killed by Sgt. Ryan O'Neill, a white police officer, on Sunday.
O'Neill was responding to a call about a suspicious person rummaging through cars. Logan, who was at the scene, reportedly approached O'Neill while holding a 6 to 8-inch knife over his head, investigators say. O'Neill fired two shots, one of which hit Logan in the abdomen.
There were no other witnesses at the scene. O'Neill's body camera was not automatically activated at the time of the shooting because he was driving slowly without his emergency lights on, a county prosecutor said, according to the Associated Press.
"I know that whenever an incident like this happens, there is tremendous hurt that can come about," Buttigieg said on Sunday. "That the city will be hurting."Protesters who allege the incident was motivated by race, claimed justice was not served after O'Neill was placed on administrative leave. According to US census data, 63% of the city's residents are White, 25% are Black, and 14% are Hispanic.
"You running for president and you want black people to vote for you," one activist yelled at Buttigieg. "That's a downfall, that's not gonna happen."
The clip then cuts after more shouting.
"Ma'am, I'm not asking for your vote," Buttigieg said later.
"You ain't gonna get it either," one person said.
Buttigieg's relationship with the African-American community was strained after he demoted the city's first black police chief in 2012, citing some secretly recorded conversations of police officers allegedly making racist statements. The argument was that the act of recording violated a one party consent law, requiring at least one person allowing the recording, MSNBC reported.
Buttigieg reportedly admitted in his memoir that the incident "affected my relationship with the African-American community in particular for years to come."