Posted on March 7, 2020

South Bend Police Officer ‘Justified’ in Shooting Black Man Dead – Prosecutor

Associated Press, The Guardian, March 6, 2020

A special prosecutor announced on Friday that a white former South Bend police officer was justified in the shooting of an African American man last summer and will not be charged in the killing that roiled then-mayor Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign.

Special prosecutor Ric Hertel was appointed to lead an investigation into the 16 June shooting of 54-year-old Eric Logan, who Sgt Ryan O’Neill said refused orders to drop a knife while the officer was investigating a report of a person breaking into cars.

Hertel said at a news conference evidence showed Logan approached O’Neill with a knife and the officer feared for his safety when he fired two shots, one of which struck Logan in the upper abdomen.

“The use of deadly force by Sgt O’Neill was justified based upon the threat and imminent danger presented by the sharp-edged knife in the right hand of Mr Logan,” said Hertel’s report.

He said O’Neill, who resigned from the South Bend police department in July, had an abrasion on his left forearm from the knife.

The shooting wasn’t captured on video because O’Neill’s dash and body cameras weren’t activated, but Hertel said “O’Neill must have had a subjective belief that he was going to sustain serious bodily injury”.

Hertel was repeatedly interrupted by people shouting. At one point a woman was removed from the room after shouting expletives and accusing authorities of lying about their findings.