Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg has previously faced accusations of failing to address racism in South Bend, Indiana's police force. A previous TYT Investigates report revealed the presence of secret tapes that allegedly suggest Buttigieg fired South Bend's first black police chief, Darryl Boykins, due to a plot reportedly hatched by white police offers to pressure him via donors.
Buttigieg's lack of black voter support reflects these troubles, and they don't appear to be going away any time soon. A new report jointly published by The Root and The Young Turks claims that letters, lawsuits, and complaints documenting racism in South Bend's police force went unanswered by the 37-year-old politician.
"Over the course of the last month, The Root and The Young Turks have received internal documents, examined formal complaints, and interviewed former officers who outlined a pattern of racial discrimination against black police officers in South Bend," the report reads.
"The alleged discrimination spanned the course of multiple police chiefs, captains, and supervisors. The only common denominator is that every black complainant mentions one name: Pete Buttigieg."According to memos, emails, and complaints obtained by the publications, black officers repeatedly brought the issue up to the South Bend Common Council. The report notes at least five discrimination lawsuits were filed in federal courts and highlights letters signed by 10 black South Bend Police Department (SBPD) officers describing problems within the department. Notably, the letters were sent to the Board of Public Safety (BOPS), the city's legislature, and the mayor's office. The report notes that there were five common complaints among South Bend's black officers: black officers were rarely promoted; white officers often received promotions, positions, and transfers not publicly advertised to their black counterparts; white officers often failed to support black officers in time of danger or when they needed help; white officers were given an advantage due to being chosen for temporary positions; and less punishment was administered to white officers than black officers.
"Not only is there a mountain of evidence showing that the city's black officers felt marginalized, but we could not find a single black complainant who said Buttigieg responded to their concerns personally or in writing," the report reads.
Buttigieg's campaign was allegedly contacted by The Root and asked if the mayor was aware of issues of discrimination and racism raised by black officers. The campaign reportedly said Buttigieg was aware of some complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and claimed they were dismissed.