In response, Mr. Buttigieg said the episode “had more to do with interpersonal politics than public safety.”
Discipline within the department increased substantially under Chief Teachman, the mayor said. From 2014 to 2017, reported use of force incidents dropped by 35 percent, according to city data.
“I think in the long run that will serve us well,’’ the mayor said.
In any event, after two years Chief Teachman left to work in private industry.
His successor, Chief Ruszkowski, was a South Bend native with many years on the force. “He was popular in the minority community and among the police force,” said Ms. Fowler, the city clerk, who is black. “What the mayor did was he granted their wishes.”
‘A lot of people are angry’
At a City Council meeting after the Eric Logan shooting, Mr. Buttigieg listed multiple efforts by his administration to improve trust between the police and residents. They included rerouting patrols to keep officers in the same neighborhoods consistently, allowing residents to file online complaints about the police and spending $1.5 million on body cameras.
Minority residents and officials, including supporters of the mayor and chief, said the current anger had far deeper roots than just the Logan shooting, which occurred when an officer responded to a report of a person breaking into cars downtown.
“A lot of people are angry and hurt, but the issues didn’t just start under Mayor Pete,” said Sharon McBride, a black member of the City Council, known as the Common Council. Mr. Buttigieg “talked about fixing the heart before you can branch out to the rest of the body,” she recalled about his policy priorities. Today, “the downtown is great,” she said. “But did we do enough in the minority community? Absolutely not.”