Election 2020

In Mayor Pete’s South Bend, Indiana, ‘Morale Is at an All-Time Low’ Among Police Officers

A compelling 'Ingraham Angle' segment on Fox News revealed much about a troubled American city

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Fox News contributor Raymond Arroyo went on the road for “The Ingraham Angle” on Tuesday night — and shared some horrifying insights about South Bend, Indiana.

Viewers of the new “Raymond on the Road” segment were treated to scenes of boarded-up homes and filthy encampments populated by homeless people.

South Bend right now is “a place where the local population here — 25 percent of them — live beneath the poverty line. And crime has risen to 20-year highs, with violent assaults exceeding by 173 percent the national average. And there are a lot of abandoned homes here,” Arroyo reported, noting that he was standing just a few miles from “the golden dome of Notre Dame.”

Arroyo spoke with a number of residents of the city for their take on Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s presidential candidacy in light of the economic worries in South Bend.

“We’ve got a mayor that’s more concerned about politics right now than he is about public safety in our own city, and it’s infuriating,” said Harvey Mills, president of the South Bend Fraternal Order of Police.

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“Now the public sees us as villains,” Mills added. “They’re looking at police officers as someone that wants to hurt them, not help them,” he said, explaining why it’s tougher for law enforcement to do their jobs right now. “And morale is at an all-time low, as far as I’m concerned. I’ve been a police officer here for 27 years. This is the lowest I’ve ever seen it.”

“And it’s mainly due to the mayor’s lack of public support for our officers.”

Mills said that “more than 10 officers have been shot at” since the Eric Logan shooting case in June of this year. “We attribute that to the racism remarks that Mayor Pete has been spewing, and demoralizing our police department and the public. You know, the public is now afraid to approach us.”

A South Bend police sergeant on June 16 was involved in a shooting that killed an African-American man, Eric Logan, who was 54 — sparking outrage in the community.

Sergeant Ryan O’Neill fatally shot Logan during a dispute; O’Neill is currently the subject of a special prosecutor investigation and a civil lawsuit, as a CBS News Indiana affiliate reported.

The St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office said Logan was holding a knife as he approached an officer who was responding to a report of a person breaking into cars. Sergeant O’Neill told authorities later that he fired his weapon only after Logan refused police orders to drop the knife.

O’Neill was not wearing a body camera — which has raised questions for many. O’Neill has since resigned his police position.

Logan — the man who died in the shooting — was a convicted felon who was brandishing an eight-inch hunting knife, police authorities said.

“Honestly, I can’t wait to get out,” one South Bend resident told Arroyo for “The Ingraham Angle” segment. “I get tired of hearing shootings every night.”

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Several others whom Arroyo interviewed mentioned their disdain for the downtown area — they said they won’t and don’t like to go there at night.

“My message to the mayor is to drop the politics and be a leader for the city that he was sworn to be a leader for,” said Mills of the Fraternal Order of Police.

Some people, however, do support the mayor. “I like Mayor Pete … I support him 100 percent,” one woman told Arroyo. And many people give him credit for new construction and other initiatives in the city.

But a poll in early July showed that Mayor Pete “continued to receive zero support from black Democratic voters as he fell below five percent in overall support after last week’s debates,” as Newsweek reported last month.

There’s a lot more about South Bend and the economic situation there for Buttigieg in Tuesday night’s “Ingraham Angle” report.

See more of Arroyo’s on-the-ground revelations about the issues there in the tweet below, as well as more information in other tweets — and share your thoughts:

This article has been updated.

meet the author

LifeZette's Editor-in-Chief Maureen Mackey helped launch the site from its earliest days and previously served as its managing editor. Prior to her time at LifeZette, she held senior editorial positions at several national publications and is a former book editor. Her work has appeared in many outlets including Real Clear Politics, CNBC, The Fiscal Times, A Fine Line, AARP Magazine, Reader's Digest, and Fordham Magazine. She is a member of the Newswomen's Club of New York and the American Legion Auxiliary. She can be reached at [email protected].

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