A South Bend, Indiana Federal Judge ruled against the wrongful death lawsuit Of Eric Logan after he was shot and killed by police on June 16, 2019. It’s just another sad situation of a black man being shot and killed by police, then getting no justice.
The judge said in a ruling on Wednesday that former police Sgt. Ryan O’Neill “acted reasonably” when Logan refused to drop the knife while he moved towards the officers.
“Some may choose to second-guess Sergeant O’Neill’s split-second decision that night, but faced with an imminent threat to his safety, he acted reasonably under the law based on all the information available to him at that moment,” said Leichty.
The ruling by the judge seemed to put the majority of the blame on Logan for the cause of his death and did little to hold officer O’Neill accountable.
An attorney for the Logan family said that though the judge’s ruling was very disappointing, they believe the case should go to a jury. We think that this is a case, a question of fact, that should go to a jury to decide,” he said. They will also consider an appeal.
The family of Logan filed the lawsuit against the City of South Bend and O’Neill in 2019, claiming O’Neill violated Logan’s civil rights in several ways, including using excessive force with willfulness and reckless indifference and subjecting him to “unlawful treatment based on race.”
The lawsuit also points a finger of blame at the city for not properly training, supervising, controlling, and disciplining officers.
Protests erupted in South Bend after shooting of Eric Logan. Pete Buttigieg even walked away from his 2020 campaign for president to face South Bend residents who were furious with the police shooting.
Officer O’Neill resigned weeks after the shooting, though a special prosecutor ruled he was justified in his shooting of Logan. A year before the Logan incident, O’Neill was sentenced to probation after he pleaded guilty to a charge related to after pleading guilty to a charge related to an earlier on-duty sexual encounter.
Rulings like these continue to show the disconnect between the courts and the people they are intended to serve. Time and time again black men and women are killed by police, with no accountability for their actions. They can take life, go in front of a sympathetic judge and be home before dinner gets cold.