Saturday March Planned After Officer Who Killed Eric Logan Won't Be Charged For The Shooting

Feb 28, 2020

Booking photo of Ryan O'Neill
Credit St. Joseph Co. Jail

NEW: A special prosecutor has announced that the white South Bend officer who shot and killed a black man in South Bend last summer will not be charged for the shooting. Special prosecutor Richard Hertel has announced that officer Ryan O’Neill will not be charged for shooting Eric Logan because the state cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the force was not justified. However, in a separate case, Hertel has announced that O’Neill is being charged with several charges related to allegations that he picked up a prostitute in May.  He was arrested and booked at the St. Joseph Co. Jail earlier today and then released on a promise to appear for his court dates. The booking charges include official misconduct, ghost employment and public indecency. 

Faith In Indiana is organizing for a march on the County-City Building Saturday afternoon to express outrage and call for the adoption of a discipline plan for the South Bend Police Department.

You can see the court documents detailing the charges against O'Neill here.

Officials say the charges against O'Neill stem from a whistleblower complaint. 

You can read the entire report compiled by the special prosecutor here. 

People who came to hear the special prosecutor's announcement are visibly upset.
Credit Justin Hicks/WVPE

The announcement has been emotional. People in the audience have angrily interrupted Hertel during the press conference.

Mmoja Ajabu came to the annoucement representing the Economic Freedom Fighters of Indiana. He says the details presented today were contradictory and he thinks it’s a cover up.

“If the people that’s enforcing the law are breaking the law and then when it comes time for the people to hold them accountable, and then they get away with breaking the law,” he says. “You know there’s something wrong.”

WVPE‘s Justin Hicks who is covering the announcement has reported that some of Logan‘s family left in tears.

Black Lives Matter - South Bend issued the following statement: 

Today, a Special Prosecutor determined that deadly force used against Eric Logan was justified. Unfortunately, Sgt. O'Neill's body camera was not activated.

Black people across this nation, and the world, know that justice for Black lives is seldom realized. We are deeply saddened by the Special Prosecutor's decision, but we are not surprised.

 

South Bend Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski speaks to the media following the special prosecutor's announcement flanked by other city leaders.
Credit Justin Hicks/WVPE

South Bend Mayor James Mueller, South Bend Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski and other city officials held a news conference following the special prosecutor's announcement.

Ruszkowski described his reaction upon hearing the whistleblower complaint.

“I mean you can use your imagination,” he says. “I was flabbergasted, I was sick to my stomach, just on the allegation alone. If there’s any saving grace to this whatsoever it’s that we had a police officer come forward and tell us. That is huge.”

The mayor reacted to the ongoing controversy over the lack of body camera footage.

"It's beyond frustrating that there's no video for the most important moments in this case. Without new evidence we may never know the full truth about Eric Logan's death. This will understandbly continue to cause anger and pain in our community and does not help build the trust that we need," Mueller said.

Below is an image of the release that was made Friday by the local FOP.

Statement issued by the South Bend Fraternal Order of Police

PREVIOUS POST: 

Today the special prosecutor looking into the shooting of Eric Logan in South Bend in June of 2019 will release his findings.

Logan, who was African American, was shot by a white South Bend officer. That officer has since quit the force.

Special prosecutor, Ric Hertel, has relied on detectives from the Indiana State Police force to aid in the task.

Hertel, who is out of Ripley County, Indiana, told the media back in July that he had spoken to Logan’s family members and homicide detectives and urged anyone with information about the June 16 shooting to come forward.

Hertel stressed the investigation would focus on the case and not the conduct of the South Bend Police Department. 

WVPE's Justin Hicks will be covering the announcement at 11am and will have more throughout the day.

In addition, South Bend Mayor James Mueller and South Bend Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski will host a Community Conversation forum today at 3 p.m. on the 4th Floor Council Chambers to discuss the Special Prosecutor’s findings in the investigation into Eric Logan’s death.

The event will include comments from community leaders, and members of the Common Council are invited to attend. The public is welcome and will be given the opportunity to speak.

A second Community Conversation forum will be held next Thursday evening, March 12.

At 6pm Black Lives Matter - South Bend will hold a vigil for Eric Logan at the place where he was shot at 330 W. Colfax Avenue.

Justin Hicks will be covering the community conversation and vigil as well that will follow the special prosecutor's announcement.

You can read the release that was issued last week about Hertel's announcement below. 

Special Prosecutor Ric Hertel will hold a press conference next Friday, March 6, where he will make public his findings regarding the officer involved shooting that took place in South Bend on June 16, 2019. The press conference will be held at the County-City Building in South Bend at 11 a.m.

Hertel will be joined by Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter.

Following his announcement on the findings, Hertel will take questions from the media. 

Details:

What - Press conference with Special Prosecutor Ric Hertel and ISP Superintendent Doug Carter regarding findings on the officer involved shooting on June 16, 2019.

Where - South Bend County-City Building, 227 W. Jefferson Blvd. South Bend, IN 46601

When - Friday, March 6, 2020 / 11 a.m. Eastern Time