Eric Logan, a resident of South Bend, was killed on Sunday when police responded to a call about a suspicious person going through cars.
A police officer encountered Logan in a vehicle that was in an apartment building parking lot, according to the report. Logan reportedly got out of the car and approached the officer with a knife raised. The unidentified officer shot at Logan. The 54-year-old man died at the hospital.
Buttigieg traveled back to the city on Sunday afternoon following the incident, canceling a Monday fundraiser in New York City, as well as several other meetings and interviews. He also canceled other campaign stops in California that were scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday.
Buttigieg was also scheduled to speak at the LGBTQ Gala at the Democratic National Committee in New York, but also canceled his speech, which his husband, Chasten Buttigieg will give in his place.
The mayor, who is seen as a dark horse in the overcrowded Democratic field, has been taken to task by leaders in the South Bend’s Black community in the past.
Among the criticisms he has faced included the fact that he fired the city’s first Black police chief while in his first term. He has also been scrutinized for the way he has handled past officer-involved shootings and the lack of diversity in the police force.
As the AP noted, South Bend’s police force is almost 90% white, even though 40% of its residents are Black or Latinx.
Buttigieg said during a press conference on Sunday that he showed up in South Bend in his capacity as mayor to be upfront about communicating with the city’s residents “because of lessons learned from members of the community.”
“We’ve had prior cases of use-of-force incidents and officer-involved shootings where I hesitated, frankly, to get in front of cameras because we didn’t know very much, and it was out of our hands,” he said. “What I was told by people in the community is that it is important to open channels of communication to try to be clear on where the city is, even if we don’t find ourselves in a position to be able to say or do much right away.”
An independent outside investigation into Logan’s killing will be conducted to see if the unidentified officer’s use of force was justified, something that Buttigieg insists he has done with all of the city’s officer-involved shootings.