The South Bend, Indiana police officer who shot and killed Eric Logan has resigned, officials confirmed on Monday.
“I can confirm that Sergeant Ryan O’Neill resigned from the South Bend Police Department effective immediately,” Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski said in a statement on Twitter.
O’Neill, who is white, was reportedly investigating reports of car break-ins on June 16 when he shot and killed Logan, a 54-year-old black man. Officials claimed Logan moved toward O’Neill with a knife, prompting the officer to fire.
O’Neill was equipped with a body camera that he never turned on, and Logan’s family filed a lawsuit against the police department and the city of South Bend, disputing the officer’s claims that Logan had been wielding a knife.
The shooting sparked protests, with advocates calling for the police department to fire O’Neill and implement better training for officers in the city. South Bend mayor and presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg (D) took a break from the 2020 campaign trail and returned briefly to Indiana to address the incident.
O’Neill was placed on administrative leave, and Buttigieg said the homicide unit was conducting an independent investigation to determine whether the officer’s use of force was warranted.
According to court documents obtained by HuffPost, O’Neill had previously faced allegations from fellow officers of making racist and derogatory comments.
“Our efforts to strengthen trust between law enforcement and community members continue,” Buttigieg said in a statement on Monday evening. “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.”
The shooting came up during a Democratic primary debate in June, and Buttigieg was quick to admit responsibility when asked about his failure to create a police force that reflects the diversity of South Bend.
“I couldn’t get it done,” he said. “My community is in anguish right now because of an officer shooting … It’s a mess, and we’re hurting.”
South Bend’s police department is only 6% black but serves a community that is 26% black, noted Rachel Maddow, who moderated the debate.
“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 deescalation, but it didn’t save the life of Eric Logan,” Buttigieg said during the debate. “When I look into his mother’s eyes, I have to face the fact, and nothing that I say will bring him back.”
This story has been updated with a statement from Pete Buttigieg.
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