South Bend rally addresses women-police brutality, removal of officers

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Black Lives Matter Indiana and BlackTavists hosted a rally in downtown South Bend Saturday afternoon, called Black Women Speak.

Community activists want the South Bend Mayor to do more, after the latest officer-involved shooting, claiming the life of Eric Logan.

Speakers discussed a lot of topics, like women-police brutality.

“Actually zooming in on the police brutality within the community, not just black men, but black women as well,” said activist, Tiara Nelson.

Nelson said she is a victim of police brutality.

“I’m ready to speak up, yell at the top of my lungs, and let everybody know that we need to hold people accountable,” Nelson said.

Activists and community leaders said they would also like Sgt. Ryan O’Neill to be removed from the police force, after taking the life of Eric Logan.

However, other community members said they support officers and believe O’Neill was not in the wrong.

“You know, from growing up back in the day, it was if they did have to drop their weapon, it was a shot below the waist,” Nelson said.

Activists also said they want Mayor Buttigieg to do something about alleged racial remarks made by officers.

“We are actually asking him to step in and take charge and actually fire or demote officers who have had numerous racists or racial slurs,” Nelson said.

While some said rallies are effective, others argued there needs to be cultural changes.

“And become highly-educated on who we are because until we become educated on who we are, we will never be able to evolve or change,” Nelson said.

One member on the South Bend Common Council Regina Williams-Preston said it would benefit us if we found some common ground.

“To better understand each other’s opinion; that’s how we move forward in this community,” Williams-Preston said.