Community reacts to special prosecutors findings on fatal officer-involved shooting
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Special Prosecutor Ric Hertel announced his findings in the investigation of the fatal officer-involved shooting of car break-in suspect Eric Logan.
The crowd was tense when Hertel announced that Sergeant Ryan O’Neil, the officer accused of abusing deadly force, was justifiable in his actions and that criminal prosecution of O’Neil is not possible.
Tension rose between community members and officials Friday, some even during escorted out of the press conference.
Many feeling their questions were not answered and that Logan was villainized.
“Saying all these god**** lies about my mother****** brother,” One woman said.
“You were hired to do absolutely nothing,” another woman is heard saying.
“Why would you pick him up and move him, he had a better chance of living with the police ambulance right around the corner,” another woman said.
Emotions were high as community members heard Special Prosecutor Ric Hertel’s findings on the fatal officer-involved shooting of car break-in suspect Eric Logan last June.
Hertel found that the officer involved, Sergeant Ryan O’Neill, took the right actions in using deadly force against Eric Logan after Logan walked towards him with a knife.
Family members in the room were outraged at the decision.
“He needs to be charged with murder,” Ebony Logan, Eric Logan's niece said.
She tells ABC57 investigators painted her uncle as a villain.
My uncle was a very innocent, lovable guy, keep you laughing, the spirit was motivating all that so all this stuff they want to say about my uncle is false information,” she said. “At this point, y’all don’t give a f*** about us. This community is just all f***** up.”
But like many in attendance, she’s not surprised to hear there will be no prosecution.
“No, because at the end of the day there ain’t going to be any justice for my uncle cause they don’t care. They care about officer O’Neill, they don’t care about us or what we got to say or my granny’s feelings or none of that,” she said.
“What we saw today is kind of expected. I think there was a big burden, big hill the prosecutor would have to climb to prove without a reasonable doubt that there was a crime committed here,” Brian Coffman, Logan’s family attorney, said.
Many in the crowd were left wanting answers.
“O think it’s horrible, it’s a smokescreen even the outside prosecutor is a smokescreen couldn’t even answer a simple question, did Eric throw the knife, did he drop the knife,” Wendy Fultz, a faith leader said.
“There are some serious discrepancies that are still present to how this happened. The biggest one I see is the no DNA, no fingerprints on the knife, nothing on any of the vehicles and we also don’t know where the shooting took place,” Coffman said.
“They need to reopen this case and they need to look back on all this evidence and quit trying to talk about 30-second pauses on his body cam, y’all need to reopen all that and show us evidence,” Ebony Logan said.
In regards to reopening the case, Hertel said that if there is additional evidence, they will review it.
“I think we need to get justice, going forward we need justice. We need the matrix to be put in place. We need the mayor to stand up and do the right thing,” Fultz said.
Also on Friday, the family of Eric Logan and community members held a vigil at Central High Apartments where the June 16th incident first happened and where Eric Logan’s memorial still stands.