The South Bend police officer involved in the shooting that killed an African American man and outraged an Indiana community has resigned. Sergeant Ryan O'Neill fatally shot 54-year-old Eric Logan on June 16.
O'Neill is currently the subject of a special prosecutor investigation and a civil lawsuit, a CBS News Indiana affiliate reported. South Bend Police confirmed the resignation on Twitter.
Logan, an African American man, was shot by O'Neill, a white police officer, an event that drew outrage from community memberstransparency and accountability. According to the St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office, Logan was holding a knife as he approached an officer responding to a report of someone breaking into cars. O'Neill told authorities he fired his weapon after Logan refused orders to drop the knife. O'Neill was not wearing a body camera.
"Sgt. O'Neill did his job and was forced to defend his own life from a convicted felon who was armed with an eight-inch hunting knife," said Harvey Mills, South Bend Fraternal Order of Police President, in a statement on Monday. "We're confident that the investigation into the shooting will determine that the action he took was justified based on the law and his training; however, job related stress, the lawsuit, national media attention, and hateful things said on social media have been difficult for O'Neill and his young family."
WSBT/South Bend forwarded a statement from The Logan family's attorney, Brian Coffman, issued a statement to the station expressing his clients' surprise at O'Neill's resignation.
"We believe the timing and the reasons provided by the FOP of Mr. O'Neill's decision to resign is somewhat questionable given the pending investigation by the Special Prosecutor and the Federal Civil Rights lawsuit," Coffman said. "We don't know what motivated Mr. O'Neill to resign today but we do know and will find out very soon what actually happened that early morning on June 16, 2019."
South Bend has been shaken by the shooting. Logan's death sparked protests in South Bend Indiana. It also led to a tense town hall between South Bend Mayor and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg and his constituents. Buttigieg said he would reaffirm the South Bend Police Department's policy on body cameras.
Buttigieg's office released a statement Monday evening, reaffirming its "efforts to strengthen trust between law enforcement and community members."
"We will await results of the independent criminal investigation, and apply any lessons learned to our work on the future of the Police Department and the community," The mayor said.