Mayor Pete Buttigieg's hometown of South Bend, Indiana, is dealing with racial turmoil after a white police officer shot and killed a black man accused of breaking into cars downtown, and Buttigieg faced anger from the man's family and other protesters Friday.
Buttigieg, instead of joining most of the other Democratic presidential candidates at Rep. Jim Clyburn's World Famous Fish Fry in South Carolina, had the difficult job of facing the grief and anger of black South Bend residents who believe he is not doing enough to prevent deaths like that of 54-year-old Eric Logan's.
And while his responsibility as mayor was to listen and try to console the residents of his city, even his presence was met with skepticism by protesters who wondered if he was only there to protect the image of his presidential campaign.
"Are you really here because you care about blacks, or are you just here because you want to be the president?" one woman asked him.
"This is my home too," Buttigieg responded.
In another exchange, Buttigieg again tried to convince a protester that his presence and concern for the situation was not merely about presidential ambitions.
"You running for president and you expect black people to vote for you?" someone demanded.
"I'm not asking for your vote," Buttigieg said in response.
"You ain't getting it either," a protester replied.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg: “I do not have evidence that there has been discipline for racist behavior...” Protester: “Y… https://t.co/cgOYl2lLmd— Keith Boykin (@Keith Boykin) 1561164663.0
The protests center on Logan's death. Logan was shot in the abdomen by a police officer who responded to reports that Logan was breaking into cars. The officer claims Logan lunged at him with a knife. However, the officer failed to turn on his body camera.
Logan's family plans to file a federal civil rights lawsuit against South Bend.