Presidential Hopeful, Pete Buttigieg, Pitches Plan to Fight ‘Systemic Racism’ After Backlash for Police Shooting in South Bend

Presidential candidate, Pete Buttigieg, the Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, gave a speech to a predominantly black audience promising to eliminate prison time for drug possession, restoring voting rights to 6-million Americans with felony convictions, and providing reparations for the descendants of slaves. Buttigieg, who is a Rhodes scholar, is seeking support from black Democrat voters but polled close to 0% support from that group at a recent debate. He now seeks to change that by describing America as a racist nation following a recent incident in which a white South Bend police officer shot and killed 54-year-old black resident, Eric Logan, after he was allegedly caught breaking into cars with a knife. The officer’s camera was turned ‘off’ at the time of the shooting.

The officer claims that the suspect, Mr. Logan, had a woman’s purse stuck in his clothing, was acting erratically, and hurled a hunting knife at him at the time of the shooting. Logan had prior arrests for weapons and drug charges, and an active felony warrant for violating probation. He faced being returned to prison for the remaining seven years of a previous prison sentence. The South Bend Fraternal Order of Police Lodge criticized Mayou Buttigieg for being more concerned with “boosting his own presidential political campaign than ensuring a fair investigation” and for calling the entire police force racist.

Seeking support of black voters, Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg pitched a plan Tuesday to tackle “systemic racism” that he says exists in housing, health care, education, policing, and all other aspects of American life.

The 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, told a predominantly black audience at a Chicago meeting of Rainbow PUSH, Rev. Jesse Jackson’s civil-rights organization, that his plan includes providing more opportunity for minority businesses, strengthening voting rights, and reforming the criminal justice system.

He said he would cut incarceration numbers in half by eliminating prison time for drug possession. He wants to restore voting rights for 6 -million Americans with felony convictions, and supports “bold and meaningful action” on reparations for the descendants of slaves.

Buttigieg’s speech followed the June 16 fatal shooting of a black man by a white South Bend police officer, which he said re-exposed a “racial chasm” between black and white residents in the racially diverse community of roughly 100,000 people. The shooting prompted Buttigieg to leave the campaign trail, and it has threatened to erode the already marginal backing he’s received from black voters for his 2020 bid so far.

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