A judge on Wednesday reportedly appointed a special prosecutor to investigate a white police officer’s shooting of a black man in South Bend, Ind., an incident that has led to scrutiny for Mayor ‘s Democratic presidential campaign.
St. Joseph Circuit Court Judge John Broden named prosecutor Richard Hertel from Ripley County to run the investigation into the June 16 shooting death of Eric Logan, 54, according to the South Bend Tribune. County Prosecutor Ken Cotter said he wanted a special prosecutor in order to “avoid any appearance of impropriety, conflict of interest or influence upon the ultimate prosecutorial decision to be made.”
Police have said Logan had a knife when he was shot by Sgt. Ryan O’Neill, but O’Neill’s body camera was not on at the time.
Buttigieg, who had also called for a special investigation, briefly stopped campaigning last month to handle the fallout of the shooting, and he was confronted by protesters in a town hall meeting with South Bend residents.
The Hill has reached out to Buttigieg’s campaign for comment.
The mayor was pressed on the incident during last week’s first Democratic presidential primary debate, saying his “community is in anguish right now” and that more must be done.
“I’m not allowed to take sides until the investigation comes back. The officer said he was attacked with a knife, but he didn’t have his body camera on. It’s a mess, and we’re hurting,” Buttigieg said.
“And I could walk you through all of the things that we have done as a community, all of the steps that we took from bias training to de-escalation, but it didn’t save the life of Eric Logan. And when I look into his mother’s eyes I have to face the fact and nothing that I say will bring him back,” he added.
Hertel, who was first elected prosecutor in 1998, has been given the court’s authority to seek assistance from the Indiana State Police or other law enforcement agencies to conduct a “thorough and independent review” of the incident.