The South Bend Fraternal Order of Police released a statement Monday evening hammering presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg for disparaging remarks he made at a recent town hall.
Buttigieg reportedly intended to ease tensions following the police shooting of Eric Logan, a black American who was allegedly carrying a knife when he confronted police on June 16th. Some citizens, however, expressed distrust. One resident, Lwan Easton, said, “I just think it’s maybe a ploy to just kind of get us all together to talk … try to build confidence in the people that they going to figure everything out.”
The South Bend Fraternal Order of Police released a statement criticizing Buttigieg for remarks he made about police officers.
The statement began by re-affirming the police department’s commitment to the “sacred legal principle of the Presumption of Innocence” and expressing support for Officer Ryan O’Neill, who shot Eric Logan, 54, in a confrontation that drew nation-wide scrutiny in June.
In the following paragraphs, the police department criticized Buttigieg for disparaging South Bend’s police force with comments like “All Police work and all American life takes place in the shadow of racism.”
The department accused Buttigieg of profiting from the shooting, saying “Buttigieg’s focus on this incident is solely for his political gain and not the health of the city he serves,” and adding that Buttigieg has “in no way unified the community.”
Citing the recent increase officer accountability, the department claimed that Buttigieg’s remarks “have already and will continue to have a detrimental effect on local law enforcement officers and law enforcement officers nationwide.”
The statement also criticized Buttigieg for focusing his attention on one family rather than several others, which have been affected by gun violence, and rebuked him for failing to make a statement on South Bend’s largest shooting in recent history, which wounded 11 and killed one at Kelly’s Pub in South Bend. Buttigieg met with Logan’s relatives at a protest last Friday, but has not visited other families since.
Buttigieg had still not released a statement on the Kelly’s Pub shooting.
South Bend’s violent crime rates have grown under Buttigieg’s tenure as mayor, with their murder rate surpassing Chicago’s last year.