Mayor James Mueller’s office has released the following statement in response to the special prosecutor’s findings. We are publishing it for the public record.
Mayor Mueller’s prepared remarks
I want to thank the special prosecutor for taking on this difficult investigation, reviewing all available evidence, and following the leads that he had. It was a wise decision last year to request the appointment of a special prosecutor to serve as an objective and fair investigator.
But I share some of the confusion expressed by the community over what the findings presented this morning mean.
It’s beyond frustrating that there is no video for the most important moments in this case. Without new evidence, we’ll never know the full truth about Eric Logan’s death. This will understandably continue to cause anger and pain in our community and does not help in building trust with the community.
But we must have trust in our public systems, including law enforcement. There is simply no other way forward. To help foster that trust, I am committed to laying a foundation built on honest conversations, transparent and inclusive policymaking, and a system of accountability that is fair and just.
This will require a lot of hard work and won’t happen overnight, but I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and work with the community to make this happen.
I am disturbed by the charges against former officer O’Neill while on duty. I know Chief Ruszkowski will continue to hold our officers to a high standard, and I thank the South Bend police officers who reported this alleged misconduct. Without our officers and the department’s internal investigation, the special prosecutor would never have known about these allegations.
I will look to see how I can encourage and protect whistleblowers to ensure that they are empowered to bring forward information about misconduct and help hold bad actors accountable.
In a moment, Chief Ruszkowski will share more on the department’s separate, ongoing internal investigation into whether all of our officers involved in this case followed our policies and procedures properly. With today’s findings, the internal investigation can now proceed to a conclusion.
But first, let me outline some near term next steps
• The City will host community conversations, starting with one later today at 3:00 in Council Chambers and we’ll host another on Thursday evening at a To Be Determined location
• In the coming weeks, 21CP will release their report and recommendations from their review of the South Bend Police Department
• We will also release a revised discipline matrix for further public input
• After that, we will revisit the topics from the previous administration’s CAG meetings to ensure we’re on the same page with the community as we look to move forward on those items
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that a member of our community lost his life. I offer my sincere condolences to the Logan family.
I am hopeful that we will be united as a community and city administration as we make progress on these important issues.