Special Prosecutor Is Assigned in South Bend Police Shooting

A special prosecutor was appointed Wednesday to investigate the fatal shooting of Eric J. Logan, an African-American man, by a white South Bend, Ind., police officer who did not have his body camera activated at the time.

Sgt. Ryan O’Neill, the police officer, had gone to investigate a 911 call about a man breaking into cars outside a South Bend apartment building on June 16. Officials said Mr. Logan was found leaning into a car, and that he raised a 6-to-8-inch knife over his head when approached by the officer.

The episode has emerged as an issue for the city’s mayor, Pete Buttigieg, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination. The mayor said he found it “extremely frustrating” that the officer failed to activate his body camera.

Mr. Buttigieg, who left the campaign trail for several days to address the shooting, has said that he supported seeking an outside special prosecutor in the case.

“This appointment will help the investigation meet our expectations of fairness, thoroughness, and impartiality,” Mr. Buttigieg said Wednesday in a statement issued by his mayoral office.

The special prosecutor, Richard J. Hertel, is a Republican elected prosecutor from Ripley County, Ind. His appointment, by a judge in South Bend, came at the request of the local prosecutor, Kenneth Cotter, according to Jessica McBrier, a spokeswoman for Mr. Cotter’s office.

Mr. Buttigieg’s office also wrote the Department of Justice this week to request the agency’s assistance. “I consider it imperative that there be absolutely no racism in our city’s police department,” he said in the letter.

Among some black South Bend residents, the shooting revived mistrust of Mr. Buttigieg’s leadership, engendered in part by his decision, early in his administration, to fire the city’s black police chief.

[Pete Buttigieg’s history with the South Bend police, explained.]

Mr. Buttigieg, 37, who has had difficulty making inroads with black voters in the primary race, appeared in Chicago on Tuesday at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition’s annual convention, a traditional campaign stop for Democratic presidential candidates, promising an effort to address racism in America.

“If we do not tackle the problem of racial inequality in my lifetime, I am convinced that it will upend the American project in my lifetime,” Mr. Buttigieg said.

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