South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg was confronted by a group of protesters in his own hometown Friday following the fatal police shooting of a black man by South Bend police early Sunday morning.
Police Sgt. Ryan O’Neill claimed he fired his weapon when Eric Logan, 54, approached him with a knife and refused to drop it after being confronted vandalizing a car parked at an apartment complex. Logan was transported to a hospital, where he later died.
No camera footage or witnesses exist of the incident, which has stirred up racial tensions in the area because the officer is white and Logan is black. Buttigieg canceled several campaign events, including a fish fry he was supposed to attend Friday, to deal with the issue.
During its commentary Friday evening, CNN played footage of protesters, several of whom were holding “Black Lives Matter” signs, confronting the South Bend mayor.
“Can you say it to us today in front of all these cameras that black lives matter?” one protester asked.
“Did you just ask me if black lives matter?” Buttigieg responded incredulously.
“Yes, we want to hear you say it!” a female protester shouted from the back.
“Of course black lives matter!” the South Bend mayor stressed.
“Then fire your cops!” a male protester shouted.
“Are you a racist?” someone else shouted. (RELATED: ‘Remember Sodom And Gomorrah!’ — Protester Interrupts Buttigieg Event)
“What matters about a black life to you, Mayor Pete?” asked another female protester. “Answer that!”
“The same thing that matters to me about my own,” he responded calmly.
Buttigieg later told the crowd that he did not “have evidence that there has been discipline for racist behavior,” but was quickly shouted down.
“You truly running for president and you expect black people to vote for you?” asked a woman holding a sign that said, “Who do you call when police murder?”
“That’s a downfall, that’s not gonna happen,” she continued.
“I’m not asking for your vote,” Buttigieg responded.
“You ain’t gonna get it either,” she replied.
The mayor promised to “write a letter to the [Department of Justice] explaining what’s happening, explaining why there is not community confidence in the current process,” WNDU reported.
Buttigieg plans to hold a town hall on Sunday to further address the issue.