South Bend Mayor Proposes Chokehold Ban, Discusses Ways To Promote Racial Justice

Jun 15, 2020

Screenshot of press conference through Facebook live

South Bend Mayor James Mueller held a press conference Monday with Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski and the City’s diversity officer to discuss racial justice in South Bend.

This comes one day before the one year anniversary of the fatal shooting of Eric Logan, a black man, was shot and killed on June 16, 2019 by a white south bend police officer who did not have his body camera turned on.

Protestors have recently once again criticized South Bend officials for not taking enough action when it comes to police reform in the year following Logan’s death.

Mueller used the press conference to address those concerns. 

“I know there’s frustration that things have not moved quickly enough, but I can promise you change is coming,” he says.

During the press conference, Mayor Mueller announced a proposal to ban officers from using chokeholds, similar to the one used by the Minneaoplis Officer before George Floyd died.

Police Chief Ruszkowksi agrees chokeholds should not be allowed.

“In my 32 years we have never trained [the chokehold], never used it. However we never had the specific words in our policy that said you couldn’t do chokeholds or strangleholds. So it will be added to our use of force policy.”

Mueller says the use of force policy will be open for public comment in a few weeks.

He also says the police discipline matrix will be ready for public comment later this week and hopes it will be adopted in July.

Local Faith leaders say they welcome Mueller’s plan while some members of Black Lives Matter responded saying this still doesn’t do enough to address racial injustice in South Bend.

Contact Annacaroline at acaruso@wvpe.org or follow her on Twitter at @AnnacarolineC16

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