When South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, with his media-savvy presidential bid, attracts national attention, the firestorm, following a shootout by officers, shows no signs of speedy resolution – the mayor is not only hired by demonstrators, but also by The police criticize saying his dealings have crushed morale and risked a "mass exodus" from the troupe.
"The moral here was terrible." We're not doing anything, "said a police officer, a 20-year veteran of the force, to Fox News. "We call ourselves firefighters, sit around in parking lots until we get called, and then we go to the phone because if you say or do anything wrong, you're hanged."
BUTTIGIEG TOWN HALL DEVELOPS TO CRY IN THE CENTER OF Fury SOUTHWOOD POLICE RECORDS
"At an all-time low," another officer said of the moral. "It was really demoralizing and hard to get to work lately."
Officials asked not to be identified for this story for fear of retaliation by the mayor's administration. But they told Fox News that they knew of several officials considering leaving their badges or retiring if they came in response to the mayor's shootout.
"That's the big talk … is who stays and who is going. I think you will experience a mass exodus, our administration is joking, "said one official.
Harvey Mills, President of the South Bend Police Department, told Fox News that he had talked to five or six officers who "seriously" thought about retiring or resigning because the administration manages the shooting. A police officer told Fox News that he believes that as many as 1
"It is very daunting that I wanted something that God has called me to do, that I question that and wonder to think about being a police officer, not just because of politics, and things that are happening right now are beyond my control, "he said.
Buttigieg has long had problems The relationship with the officers in South Bend has deteriorated significantly since Eric Logan – who is black – from white officer Sgt. Ryan O'Neill.
According to the investigators, O & # 39; Neill was called to report on a car crash and met Logan O & Neill, who was reportedly wearing a knife. O Neill shot Logan after approaching him with the knife and ignored repeated calls to drop it, the South Bend Tribune reported.
But O'Neill's body camera was unable to confirm his report, and skeptics from The ministry's account blasted city officials and fueled a firestorm that repeatedly tore Buttigieg off track with the Crisis in the home to cope.
O & Neill resigned last week. The lawsuit, the attention of the national media, and the hateful statements in the social media were difficult for O & Neill and his young family. "He has not sided with anyone, but in angry domestic protests, he has not questioned the story of the shootings being linked to police racism." In a debate over the presidency last month organized by NBC News, Buttigieg described the shooting as "A black man killed by a white officer." Escalation, but it did not save the life of Eric Logan, and when I look into his mother's eyes, I have to face this fact and not what I say bring it back. "
" Until we move out of the shadow of systemic racism, whatever this particular incident teaches us, the bigger problem will be the fact that there is a wall of mistrust, each one a racist act not only what happened in the past, but what is happening in the whole country right now, "he said.
Buttigie g has also been targeted by black people who believe he has not done enough to reform the police, and was criticized by angry residents last month.
But it was the repeated references to the "shadow" of racism in law enforcement (he said in June that "all policing and all of American life take place in the shadow of racism"), which particularly upset the officials.
"For me it's like he's Sgt." Even before anything was balanced and made comments like these, "one official said. "It was not based on the facts of what happened, because we do not even have all the facts about what happened."
"It's like putting gas on the fire," the officer said.
"I feel guilty until proven innocent," said another.
One official warned that this would significantly hinder the recruitment of good new civil servants to replace them: "If you look at the policy and the way policemen are treated in the media and by politicians, it's like someone would want to sign up to do this job.
Buttigieg's campaign did not respond to a request for comments from Fox News. The South Bend Police Department described officials as "professionals who regularly go beyond what is needed to serve the community."
"We do not comment on anonymous speculation and rumors," the statement said.
I also wondered what they considered Buttigieg's implicit guilt for O & # 39; Neill's body camera, on the grounds that O'Neill obeyed police policies that Buttigieg had signed as mayor. They say it does not turn on automatically because its car lights are not on, and he would have had little time to turn it on manually if Logan had appeared and immediately hit him with a blade.
"When you were in this terrible situation, he responded exactly as we had learned," said one official.
Buttigieg was pictured as he clutched the hand of Logan's mother. The Washington Post reported that he participated in a march on "police accountability" officers say Buttigieg had little interaction with them. Mills said that Buttigieg does not attend the annual fallen officers' memorial service, calling a recent gesture in which he sent over a dozen pizzas "lame."
"We have 240 officers who really need this support when we call to strain already our minds and it's a lot of stress and they do not need extra stress because they know the city council does not support them," he said.
What Buttigieg could do to remedy the crisis Police officers, Mills invited him to assist his officials to get involved more and to see the good work they are doing: "The police work protects the community, and if our officials Afraid to do their job because they may be fired or criticized and have media When we knock on their door, we just need this support, even if it's a small blow on the back every now and then. "
Others see an unrepeatable situation. "I do not think he can ever repair the damage he did," said one official.
A police officer said a little ironically that some of the officials thought of wearing bracelets with "WWPD" – standing for "What would Pete do?" – so they can think about what the mayor asks them to do when they answer a phone call: "Because that's who … with a bullhorn on his shoulder will be back in front of our police station."
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The officials were also warned of increasing crime as the police are less motivated. Mills feared that the officials would hesitate in a crucial situation.
"They are less likely to defend themselves, and that scares me because we have 15 officials on our memorial wall and I certainly do not want to add a sixteenth. "Said Mills.