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South Bend police officer who fatally shot black man resigns

An Indiana police sergeant who...

Posted: Jul 16, 2019 9:45 AM

An Indiana police sergeant who shot and killed a black man suspected of breaking into cars has resigned from the South Bend Police Department, Chief Scott Ruszkowski told CNN on Monday.

The shooting roiled the Indiana community, drawing attention to years of racial tension between the South Bend Police Department and the city's African American residents. It has also provided a glimpse into presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg's leadership as South Bend's mayor.

Police said Ryan O'Neill shot Eric Jack Logan on June 16 while Logan was breaking into cars with a knife in his hand.

Logan's family disputes the account involving the knife. They filed a federal lawsuit in June against the city and the officer, accusing O'Neill of using excessive force and targeting Logan based on his race.

"We're confident that the investigation into the shooting will determine that the action (O'Neill) took was justified based on the law and his training," said Harvey Mills, President of the South Bend Fraternal Order of Police.

However, job-related stress, the media attention and hateful social media comments have been "difficult" for O'Neill and his family, Mills said. O'Neill is also the subject of a special prosecutor investigation, a civil lawsuit and potential departmental discipline, Mills said.

"These fights are just too much for Sgt. O'Neill and his family to undertake right now," Mills said. "Resigning will allow him to focus on these challenges, as well as assist his wife with their three children, one of whom is a newborn."

Mill said that O'Neill was "forced" to defend his life from a convicted felon who was armed with an eight-inch hunting knife.

Logan's family said they were surprised by O'Neill's "sudden decision" to resign, calling the timing and reasons "somewhat questionable" given the pending investigation and lawsuit.

"We don't know what motivated Mr. O'Neill to resign today but we do know and will find out very soon what actually happened that early morning on June 16, 2019."

'It's time for you to do something'

Community members had called for O'Neill's resignation, saying the lack of disciplinary action reflected the city's indifference toward the African American community.

During one demonstration, Logan's mother challenged Buttigieg, saying she's lived in South Bend her entire life and officials have not done a "thing about me or my son, or none of these people put here."

"It's time for you to do something. ... I'm tired of talking now ... and I'm tired of hearing your lies," Shirley Newbill told Buttigieg.

Buttigieg learned of O'Neill's resignation Monday night, spokesman Mark Bode said.

"Our efforts to strengthen trust between law enforcement and community members continue," Buttigieg said in a statement.

"We will await results of the independent criminal investigation, and apply any lessons learned to our work on the future of the Police Department and the community."

Buttigieg skipped campaign events so he could return to South Bend the day of the shooting. He held a news conference in which he promised the city would be transparent with the community. He also directed his police chief to order all officers to turn on their body cameras when interacting with civilians.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 72254

Reported Deaths: 3023
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15503725
Lake7447274
Elkhart476082
Allen3789161
St. Joseph337381
Hamilton2668105
Vanderburgh188813
Hendricks1833106
Cass17749
Johnson1719118
Porter126639
Clark117846
Tippecanoe117711
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Howard87265
Kosciusko84012
Marshall77122
Bartholomew76647
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Delaware70152
Dubois67612
Boone66246
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Jennings22012
Gibson2144
Steuben2063
Ripley1977
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Perry18112
Carroll1772
Starke1767
Posey1670
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Wabash1633
Wells1622
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Jefferson1552
Whitley1506
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Benton600
Pike520
Parke511
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Switzerland450
Crawford440
Martin430
Union370
Warren221
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 98675

Reported Deaths: 3652
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin18006522
Cuyahoga13269498
Hamilton9493253
Lucas5207321
Montgomery422991
Summit3486220
Marion291945
Butler286163
Mahoning2502255
Pickaway238042
Stark1783139
Warren174238
Lorain171378
Columbiana163460
Trumbull1500106
Fairfield133231
Delaware127319
Licking122449
Clark113314
Lake108738
Wood101358
Clermont90211
Medina89635
Miami81938
Tuscarawas77214
Portage74661
Allen71844
Greene66212
Belmont61426
Richland59611
Mercer59113
Erie56427
Ashtabula55946
Geauga55244
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Ross4504
Huron3935
Darke38527
Ottawa37126
Sandusky36816
Athens3561
Hancock3553
Madison35310
Holmes3276
Lawrence2670
Auglaize2446
Union2371
Scioto2221
Muskingum2211
Jefferson2192
Putnam20217
Washington20022
Knox1997
Seneca1963
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Shelby1864
Preble1802
Crawford1725
Morrow1682
Hardin16112
Champaign1592
Clinton1586
Highland1481
Fulton1471
Logan1452
Wyandot1428
Ashland1403
Defiance1394
Williams1323
Brown1262
Perry1213
Guernsey1167
Henry1152
Hocking1159
Carroll1105
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Monroe9118
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