Pete Buttigieg on Fixing South Bend Policing Issues: ‘I Couldn’t Get It Done’

Democratic presidential hopeful Mayor of South Bend, Indiana Pete Buttigieg speaks during the second Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida, June 27, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) / ALTERNATIVE …
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) admitted he failed to increase the number of African-American police officers during his two terms as mayor in the second 2020 Democrat presidential debate Thursday evening.

A partial transcript is as follows: 

RACHEL MADDOW: In the last five years, civil rights activists in our country have led a national debate over race and the criminal justice system. Your community of South Bend, Indiana, has recently been in an uproar over an officer-involved shooting. The police force in South Bend is now six percent black in a city that is 26 percent black. Why has that not improved over your two terms as mayor?

MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG: Because I couldn’t get it done. My community is in anguish right now because of an officer-involved shooting. A black man, Eric Logan, killed by a white officer. I’m not allowed to take sides until the investigation comes back. The officer says he was attacked with a knife, but he didn’t have his body camera on. It’s a mess and we’re hurting. And I can walk you through all of the things that we have done as a community, all of the steps we took from bias training to deescalation, 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 that nothing that I say will bring him back. This is an issue facing our community and so many communities around the country. Until we move policing from out of the shadow of systemic racism, whatever this particular incident teaches us, we’ll be left with the bigger problem that there’s a wall of mistrust from one racist act at a time.


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