Damning Press Release Shreds Buttigieg: 'The Mayor Called Our Entire Police Force Racist'
Not so long ago, Democratic 2020 candidate and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg was heralded by the establishment media as a true contender for the presidency, the future of the Democratic Party, and even the potential savior of the entire nation.
Buttigieg rode the wave of favorable coverage to ascend to the top tier of democratic candidates.
Then there was a police-involved shooting in his city in which a white officer killed a black suspect. Controversy predictably erupted, especially when it was revealed that there was no police body camera footage of the incident. Buttigieg has faced mounting criticism over his handling of the situation, including demands from activists and former officials that he resign his position as mayor.
But while left-wing activists and angry black constituents — who accuse Buttigieg of covering for law enforcement — demand his resignation, the South Bend police have called out Buttigieg for throwing them under the bus and politicizing the tragedy, and are calling for him to recuse himself from all matters related to the investigation of the incident.
That was the message put forward in a recent press release by South Bend’s Fraternal Order of Police lodge, which according to WSBT made it clear that lodge members expect Buttigieg to step aside and get out of the way while an independent prosecutor fully investigates the shooting incident.
“Mayor Buttigieg has repeatedly shown that he’s more concerned about boosting his own presidential political campaign than ensuring a fair investigation about an incident where a veteran police officer was forced to defend himself when a dangerous felon attacked him with an eight-inch hunting knife,” Harvey Mills, president of the South Bend FOP, said.
“On a national TV debate, the mayor called our entire police force racist while another candidate insisted that Buttigieg fire the police chief,” he continued, referencing an interaction during the Democratic debate between Buttigieg and California Rep. Eric Swalwell.
“Since this incident is now part of the accusations and political posturing of presidential politics, Mayor Buttigieg must do the right thing and recuse himself from any further decisions related to this matter,” Mills added.
The release proceeded to provide the known details of the encounter between Sgt. Ryan O’Neill and armed suspect Eric Logan, and how a simple check on a report of car burglaries had devolved into a deadly incident. The release also noted how Logan had an active felony warrant out for his arrest at the time for probation violation and how, in conjunction with a prior criminal record, he would most likely have gone back to prison for years if arrested.
“Police are taught to treat a knife as a deadly weapon, because a suspect armed with a knife within 21-feet of an officer is as much of a deadly threat as a suspect with a gun,” Mills said in the release. “In this case, the suspect armed with an eight-inch hunting knife was less than 10 feet from the officer and refused multiple commands to drop the weapon. In light of self-defense law and police training, this shooting was completely justified.”
Mills continued: “Mayor Buttigieg swore an oath to ‘faithfully, impartially, and diligently discharge the duties of the office of mayor’ of South Bend but he’s been faithful only to his political interests, has not been impartial about this incident, and has diligently used this to advance his presidential campaign.”
“If he wants to honor the oath he took, Mayor Buttigieg will recuse himself from this matter by taking no part in any decisions, conversations, or other aspects of it,” the FOP president said.
The release concluded by noting that, in part due to the actions and words of Buttigieg, Sgt. O’Neill has been vilified by the community, defamed on social media, and has had his life utterly ruined.
WSBT reported that for his part, Buttigieg has purportedly attempted to walk a fine line without picking sides on the issue, and is intent on pursuing new strategies and tactics to help strengthen the dismal relationship between the police department and black community of South Bend.
“We obviously know we haven’t done nearly enough because we have a long way to go when it comes to trust in this community,” Buttigieg said. “We need to engage our board of public safety for a process that will invite community members to not only learn about but shape many of the policies that guide our department.”
The mayor also said that he has reached out and intends to work with the FOP, but based on the commentary from FOP president Mills, such a partnership seems unlikely.
While anything can still happen, this development — which places Buttigieg between two equally angry sides of heated debate — could ultimately prove devastating to the mayor’s White House candidacy.
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