Tiana Batiste Waddell speaks during a town hall community meeting on Sunday at Washington High School in South Bend.  Staff photo by Robert Franklin
Tiana Batiste Waddell speaks during a town hall community meeting on Sunday at Washington High School in South Bend. Staff photo by Robert Franklin
For the second time this weekend, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and South Bend Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski faced high emotions, shouts and heated calls for change after the fatal shooting of Eric Logan by a city officer.

One of the biggest themes of a town hall the mayor organized at Washington High School on Sunday: the frustration that previous calls for reform have been ignored, and that not enough is being done to address a growing mistrust of police in the city.

There were questions about the department’s body cameras. There were calls for an outside investigation of the department. One woman demanded that all racist police officers be fired by Friday.

“Get the people that are racists off the streets,” she said. “You can do that.”

Many made sure their voices were heard, often shouting over the mayor’s answers, calling him a liar or demanding that Ruszkowski be fired. When the crowd was asked to hold its anger, Komaneach Wheeler stood up and shouted “A mother of injustice cannot hold her anger!”

Some of the questions were pointed squarely at Buttigieg, whose run for president has put the Logan shooting and ensuing reaction in the national spotlight.

“How can we trust this process?” Blu Casey, a local activist, asked the mayor. “How are we supposed to trust you?”

Buttigieg at one point admitted that he had failed to bring greater diversity to the Police Department, where 5% of the officers are African-American, though he said it wasn’t for a lack of effort as he mentioned some initiatives the city undertook or is exploring.

“I promise you, we have tried everything we can think of,” he said.

Long-simmering tensions have come to a boil after the shooting of Logan June 16 by Sgt. Ryan O’Neill in the parking lot of the Central High Apartments. While responding to a call that someone was breaking into vehicles, O’Neill confronted Logan, who has said Logan approached him with a raised knife.
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