Buttigieg cancels campaign events after fatal police shooting in South Bend
Buttigieg back in South Bend after police shooting AP, AP
WASHINGTON -- Pete Buttigieg this week canceled several campaign events after returning to South Bend, Indiana, following a police-involved shooting that left a black man dead.
South Bend resident Eric Logan was shot early Sunday after the police responded to a report that a suspicious person was going through cars, the St. Joseph County prosecutor’s office said, according to the Associated Press.
Logan was confronted by a police officer in a vehicle at an apartment building parking lot, the AP reported. The prosecutor's office said Logan exited the vehicle and approached the officer with a knife raised and the officer opened fire, according to the AP. The name and race/ethnicity of the officer were not released.
Logan, 54, died at a hospital and an autopsy was scheduled for Monday.
Buttigieg, who is the mayor of South Bend and is also running for the Democratic nomination for president, traveled to the city on Sunday afternoon following news of the shooting.
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He canceled a Monday fundraiser in New York City, in addition to several scheduled meetings and media interviews. He was also scheduled to speak at the LGBTQ Gala at the Democratic National Committee in New York, but canceled his speech. His husband, Chasten Buttigieg, will give the speech in his place.
Campaign stops in California on Tuesday and Wednesday were also canceled, Pete Buttigieg's campaign confirmed to USA TODAY. The two-day trip had included a series of fundraisers and a policy rollout.
The mayor has been criticized by black community leaders in South Bend in the past. During his first term in office, he fired the city's first black police chief, according to the AP. He also was criticized for his handling of past shootings that involved police officers and the lack of diversity in the city's police department. Forty percent of South Bend residents are black or Hispanic, but the police department is almost 90% white, the AP reported.
During a press conference on Sunday night, Buttigieg said that there is an independent outside investigation being conducted to determine whether the officer's use of force was justified, which he said is done in all the city's officer-involved shootings.
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He said that he's currently there in South Bend in his capacity as mayor. When asked about criticisms of his response to other police-involved shootings, Buttigieg said he is being upfront by communicating with the city's residents "because of lessons learned from members of the community."
"We've had prior cases of use-of-force incidents and officer-involved shootings where I hesitated, frankly, to get in front of cameras because we didn't know very much, and it was out of our hands," he said. "What I was told by people in the community is that it is important to open channels of communication to try to be clear on where the city is, even if we don't find ourselves in a position to be able to say or do much right away."
"So we will continue to be in dialogue ... with community leaders and continue to seek ways to ensure that there is healing and that trust can be reinforced by everything that happens going forward," he added.
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