South Bend Reacts To Police Shooting Decision Throughout Weekend

Mar 9, 2020

Multiple prayer vigils and a march were held this weekend in South Bend after state investigators decided not to seek charges against a white cop who shot a black man last June. In the aftermath, community leaders and family members say they’re shocked and still left with questions.

Special prosecutor Ric Hertel says the state can’t prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that former Sgt. Ryan O’Neill was not justified in killing Eric Logan. The officer did not have his body camera on at the time. A separate investigation resulted in felony charges against the officer for soliciting a prostitute a month before the shooting. Some feel that should invalidate the officer’s testimony about the details of the shooting. 

High school student Dion Payne-Miller participated in a march organized by Faith In Indiana on Saturday. Among other things, they want South Bend Mayor James Mueller to make the police department adopt a stringent discipline policy for officers within 60 days.

“I think it’s very important because it affects me,” he says. “It affects me being a young African American man, and just knowing the history of what African Americans have had to endure and are still going through.”

Faith leaders and activists are asking residents to flood the mayor’s office with phone calls Monday, urging the administration to hold police accountable. 

Contact Justin at jhicks@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @Hicks_JustinM.