June 20, 2019

Buttigieg, Community Call for Unity, Transparency

Original story from   WVPE-FM

Article origination WVPE-FM
Community members gathered on a basketball court at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation Center to talk about gun violence. - Jennifer Weingart/WVPE News

Community members gathered on a basketball court at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation Center to talk about gun violence.

Jennifer Weingart/WVPE News
Jennifer Weingart & Justin Hicks

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg held a press conference Wednesday afternoon with the President of the local NAACP and other city leaders including city council members and the police chief. He talked about what's next for South Bend and about keeping the investigation as transparent as possible. 

Early Sunday morning Sgt. Ryan O’Neill of the South Bend Police Department shot and killed Eric Logan.

No specifics were shared at the press conference on what's next for South Bend. But talk ranged around continuing diversity efforts at SBPD, a more robust policy for the use of body cameras and more efforts toward community engagement and policing.

“In order for us to move forward, we as a community are going to have to act, not just talk," Buttigieg said,"and that means confronting head on some of the dynamics that make this so sensitive.”

Buttigieg said facing racism in the community will be difficult but crucial.

Michael Patton, president of the South Bend NAACP, said addressing that is key.

“We must begin to address the concerns and challenges that we have in our community,” Patton said.

Buttigieg said he would be open to an outside investigation. He also asked that anyone with any information about Logan’s death to bring it forward.

Later, on a basketball court at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center on the South Bend's Northwest side a group of community members and elected officials gathered to speak about gun violence and say what they think should happen next.

Tyree Bonds is Logan’s brother. He was one of more than a dozen speakers. He said change comes from the community.

“We the ones hire these people. We the ones vote for these people," Bonds said. "It’s up to us, every race. It’s up to us right here.”

Notably absent from the gathering were any police officers.

"I think it's important," Kalishia Harris said. "I think there should have been some type of police officer here today to tell us exactly what their protocol is."

Buttigieg was on the court. He did not speak much, but listened as his constituents told him what they thought.

He has been criticised for not attending a vigil held Monday night by Logan's family.

Plans for a rally or march are also in the works for some time this weekend.

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