South Bend Officer's Body Camera Was Not On When He Shot and Killed Suspect
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- It was a 19-year veteran of the police force in South Bend who shot and killed a suspect over the weekend.
Prosecutors say Sergeant Ryan O'Neill shot and killed Eric Logan early Sunday morning. They also released a timeline after dispatch got a call about someone breaking into cars near the city's downtown area. It was O'Neill who answered that call.
"At 3:30 and 34 seconds, Officer O'Neill announces that he has arrived at the scene," said St. Joseph County prosecutor Ken Cotter. "At 3:33, O'Neill announces that shots had been fired and that an ambulance is needed."
Cotter said at a Monday afternoon press conference that O'Neill told them he came up on the scene in the parking lot along Williams Street in South Bend to find Logan with his legs sticking out of one of the cars parked there, not knowing if it was an owner or a car thief.
"Officer O'Neill tells us he then got out of his squad car and approached the person (Logan) and asked him if that was his car," Cotter said. "He said 'yes'. The person then got out of the car. O'Neill noticed the person holding a person in his left hand and a knife in his right."
Cotter continued saying O'Neill started backing up towards his squad car when he noticed the knife. After telling Logan to drop the knife, O'Neill said Logan raised the knife and came at him. That resulted in O'Neill firing two shots, one of which hit Logan in the liver with the bullet wedging near his spine.
He later died at the hospital after other officers and an ambulance arrived at the scene. Investigators later found that six cars had been broken into in the area.
Cotter said O'Neill was wearing a body camera at the time of the incident.
"However, South Bend police body cameras are activated three ways," he said. "One is by the offer turning on the lights to his squad car, another is when the officer travels at a high rate of speed in his squad car, and the third is by a manual switch they have either on their uniform or wrist watch."
Cotter said since none of these scenarios played out when the shooting occurred there is no body camera footage of the shooting.
Logan's family is accusing the police department of covering up what really happened, saying Logan was shot because he is black.
Livestream of Cotter's press conference by WNDU in South Bend: