The Southbend, Indiana, police sergeant who killed Eric Logan has resigned, Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski confirmed to CNN on Monday.
The now-former officer, identified as Ryan O’Neill shot and killed Logan, who is Black, during a June 16 confrontation where Logan was suspected of breaking into cars with a knife in his hand.
Logan’s family has challenged that account and filed a federal lawsuit last month against South Bend and O’Neill, accusing the officer of using excessive force and targeting Logan because of his race.
The shooting has spiked tensions in the city, a culmination of ongoing tensions between the South Bend community, where about 40% of the residents are Black or Latinx, and the police force, which is almost 90% white.
The shooting has also caused increased scrutiny on South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who is running for president as a Democratic candidate. Many have called out Buttigieg for firing the city’s first Black police chief while in his first term, and he has also been criticized for the way he handled past officer-involved shootings and the lack of diversity in the police force.
President of the South Bend Fraternal Order of Police Harvey Mills told CNN that the union was confident that the investigation into the shooting would prove that O’Neill was justified; however, stress related to the job, the media attention, and hateful online comments have made it “difficult” for O’Neill and his family.
“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.”
O’Neill is still also facing a special prosecutor investigation, a civil lawsuit and potential discipline from the department, Mills noted.
Logan’s family, meanwhile, said that O’Neill’s “sudden decision” to resign appeared to be “somewhat questionable” given the investigation and the 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,” the family said.