South Bend Police officers cite increasingly low morale under Pete Buttigieg, as the mayor struggles to respond to an officer shooting of a black man.
Police officers speaking to Fox News anonymously said that police officers were becoming demoralized.
“Morale around here has been terrible. We do nothing,” one police officer, a 20-year veteran of the force, told Fox News. “We call ourselves firemen, we sit around in parking lots until we’re called and then we go to the call, because if you say or do something wrong, then you get hung.”
Another officer warned of a “mass exodus” from the force.
South Bend Fraternal Order of Police President Harvey Mills said that up to ten officers were considering leaving the South Bend police force after Buttigieg’s response to the shooting.
Ryan O’Neill, the police officer involved in the shooting, has resigned after the shooting of Eric Logan, a black man who was suspected of breaking into vehicles. O’Neill said he shot Logan after Logan approached him with a knife and refused to drop it.
The case remains under investigation, but Buttigieg frequently discusses it as he continues his national campaign for president.
Buttigieg frequently refers to the “systemic racism” of the police force, including on the national debate stage on NBC.
After the police shooting, Buttigieg also attended a police accountability march and addressed protesters with a bullhorn:
One officer wryly told Fox News that some of the officers were thinking of getting bracelets with “WWPD” (What Would Pete Do?) so they could remember the mayor’s wishes in the future.
“Because that’s who’s … going to be front and center outside our police department with a bullhorn on his shoulder again,” he said.
When swearing in new recruits in June, Buttigieg criticized the culture of police departments and cited the long history of “racial injustice” at the hands of police officers.
“The uniform has a history, and even if a perfect human being were to put on that uniform, that would mean taking on that burden,” he added.