The South Bend Fraternal Order of Police is calling on Mayor Pete Buttigieg to recuse himself from investigations of a June 14 incident where a white police officer shot and killed a black man.
Buttigieg's motivations for involvement, the FOP alleges, are purely political.
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"Mayor Buttigieg has repeatedly shown that he's more concerned about boosting his own presidential political campaign than ensuring a fair investigation about an incident where a veteran police officer was forced to defend himself when a dangerous felon attacked him with an eight-inch hunting knife," South Bend FOP President Harvey Mills said in a statement. "On a national TV debate, the mayor called our entire police force racist while another candidate insisted that Buttigieg fire the police chief. Since this incident is now part of the accusations and political posturing of presidential politics, Mayor Buttigieg must do the right thing and recuse himself from any further decisions related to this matter."
The controversy over the incident arose from the fact that the officer did not turn on his body camera while the altercation occurred, making it difficult to determine what actually happened. Buttigieg took time off from his presidential campaign to address the situation, but met harsh criticism both from police and members of the black community when he returned to South Bend.
After a contentious town hall and a weekend of violence in South Bend, former local government officials and black community leaders told the Washington Free Beacon that it is time for Buttigieg to resign.
"To start with trying to heal, the mayor just needs to resign," activist and pastor Mario Sims said.
On Monday, Buttigieg attended a prayer service for deceased victims of violence in South Bend. The event's organizer, Rev. Sylvester Williams Jr., told the audience that "our city is nationally being viewed as a racist town. Our city is sick," according to the South Bend Tribune.
Previously, Williams criticized Buttigieg for not apologizing for his interactions with the community.
"Never once did he say, ‘I'm sorry,'" Williams told the Tribune. "Never once did he say, ‘I repent,' and we know that repentance will come and then renewal will follow."
Williams continued that he believes Buttigieg should apologize because "he not only failed to make sure that practices and policies were followed, but he failed to discipline in an appropriate manner not only those who pull the trigger but those who have racist overtones to the citizens they're called on to serve and protect."