Sergeant Ryan O’Neill of South Bend, Indiana has resigned after fatally shooting 54-year-old Eric Logan.
What We Know:
- South Bend Police confirmed the resignation on Monday via Twitter. Chief Scott Ruszkowski stated, “I can confirm that Sergeant Ryan O’Neill resigned from the South Bend Police Department effective immediately.” O’Neill is currently under investigation by a special prosecutor investigation and is facing a federal lawsuit from Logan’s family, according to WSBT 22.
- Sergeant O’Neill was responding to a call of someone breaking into cars in the early morning hours of June 16. When he arrived at the Central High Apartments, O’Neill saw Logan bending down into a car with a knife in his hand. Investigators say that Logan began approaching O’Neill with the knife raised, which prompted the officer to fire two shots at Logan, who was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
- Harvey Mills, South Bend Fraternal Order of Police President, said in the statement, “Sgt. O’Neill did his job and was forced to defend his own life from a convicted felon who was armed with an eight-inch hunting knife.” He added, “We’re confident that the investigation into the shooting will determine that the action he took was justified based on the law and his training; however, job related stress, the lawsuit, national media attention, and hateful things said on social media have been difficult for O’Neill and his young family.”
- Brian Coffman, Logan’s family attorney, issued a statement on behalf of the family, calling O’Neill’s resignation “somewhat questionable.” Coffman said, “We don’t know what motivated Mr. O’Neill to resign today but we do know and will find out very soon what actually happened that early morning on June 16, 2019.”
- Logan’s death sparked protests in the city. It also led Mayor and democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg to cancel a few campaign events to attend the rally. Buttigieg lost a lot of support from black voters due to how he handled the situation.
Buttigieg also released a statement in which he said:
“Our efforts to strengthen trust between law enforcement and community members continue. We will await results of the independent criminal investigation, and apply any lessons learned to our work on the future of the Police Department and the community.”