Buttigieg prepares for debates in wake of officer-involved shooting

(NBC / WNDU) - Wednesday night, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is getting ready for a Democratic presidential debate.

But this past week, he left the campaign trail and returned home to deal with the recent violence and fallout from last week's officer-involved shooting.

Wednesday morning, in an exclusive interview on MSNBC, Buttigieg opened up about that shooting and the impact of racism on America.

"This ties to a much bigger set of issues that locally and nationally we have been dealing with the feeling among black Americans that they are literally being policed to death," he said. "And making sure we have a way forward on that."

He went on to say that no city or president has solved this problem, and if our country doesn't figure out a way to tackle these issues, it could tear apart the nation.

We can expect to hear more about some of these issues as the Democratic showdown begins Wednesday night. The first debates had to be split over two days because there are so many candidates.

Round 1 of the back-to-back debates creates an opportunity and a challenge. The pressure is on for Elizabeth Warren, who is surging in progressive polls. She was visiting the border Wednesday before taking center stage with Beto O'Rourke and eight other candidates.

Thursday night, 10 more will take the stage, including the heavy hitters in the polls: former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Kamala Harris and, of course, Buttigieg.

Wednesday night, time is tight, and seconds count. They get 60 seconds to answer and just 30 for rebuttal.