11 votes

Mayor Pete's invisible black police

1 comment

  1. no_exit
    (edited )
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    I've seen the first incident in this piece discussed when Buttigieg announced his candidacy, but this article paints a much more damning picture of it as part of a pattern of racism. Remember when...

    I've seen the first incident in this piece discussed when Buttigieg announced his candidacy, but this article paints a much more damning picture of it as part of a pattern of racism. Remember when Buttigieg's campaign suggested that Black people don't support him because he's gay, based on a survey of 12 people? Maybe his unpopularity actually has very little to do with that...

    No one knows why Buttigieg pressured Boykins to resign and subsequently demoted him. The only thing we know is Buttigieg’s explanation that Boykins was the target of a federal investigation is not true. It was never true. Still, Buttigieg—or proxies from his campaign—continue to repeat it.

    When Buttigieg became mayor in 2012, the SBPD was 11 percent black (29 of 244 officers). There were 28 black officers in 2013; 26 in 2014, and by the time Buttigieg announced his run for president, the South Bend police force was six percent black, with 15 black officers.

    So, why were black police officers leaving the South Bend Police Department en masse? Racism. That is not an opinion. It’s what black officers specifically, repeatedly, told the South Bend Common Council, the BOPS and Mayor Pete in memos, emails and complaints obtained by The Root and TYT. The claim is reflected in at least five discrimination lawsuits filed in federal courts. The accusations were leveled in our conversations with current and former SBPD officers. Included in the documents were letters signed by 10 black SBPD officers—a significant cohort of the force’s black members—in which they describe several problems within the department. The letters were sent in 2014 to the BOPS, the mayor’s office and the city’s legislature.

    Not only is there a mountain of evidence showing that the city’s black officers felt marginalized, but we could not find a single black complainant who said Buttigieg responded to their concerns personally or in writing.

    4 votes