The deadly shooting of an African American man by a white police officer this summer in South Bend, Indiana, highlighted Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s struggle to win black support for his presidential campaign. The issue could resurface as the prosecutor leading an investigation into the matter says his work likely won’t be finished before February, just as voters begin deciding whether Buttigieg should be the Democratic nominee.
“It’s accurate to say we won’t be finished before February,” Ric Hertel, the special prosecutor running the investigation, told The Associated Press in an email. “I’d like to be finished by the end of the year. Trying to be realistic though.”
Sgt. Ryan O’Neill was investigating a report of a person breaking into cars in June when he said he fatally shot Eric Logan after he refused orders to drop a knife. Logan’s family sued in federal court accusing O’Neill of using excessive deadly force.
O’Neill resigned in July. The shooting wasn’t captured on police video because O’Neill’s dash and body cameras weren’t activated.
The fallout from the shooting presented Buttigieg with some of the toughest moments of his White House campaign.
Buttigieg stepped away from the campaign trail and faced angry residents at an emotional town hall in South Bend, a city of about 100,000 residents, a quarter of whom are black. He acknowledged that his administration had failed to recruit more minority police officers and utilize police body cameras.
Since then, he has frequently decried systemic racism in America and released a plan intended to address disparities in health, education, wealth, criminal justice and voting rights.
But he’s still struggled to rally black voters to his campaign. A recent Monmouth University poll in South Carolina found that just 1% of African Americans in the state support Buttigieg.
What could all of this mean? I share my thoughts on Onyx News (watch below).