In response to Brian Howey’s recent Guest Commentary: “Mayor Buttigieg’s local and national crisis” (June 30, 2019). Mr. Howey makes some excellent points, but there is one very important point that wasn’t mentioned in the column that I believe deserves public discourse and public explanation by Mayor Buttigieg, and that point is why doesn’t South Bend have a zero tolerance policy in effect requiring its officers to wear activated body cams at all times subject to discharge in cases of excessive or deadly force? This is not only a South Bend problem, but a national problem as well, as there have been many police shootings, particularly of blacks, where the body cams were turned off. This makes no sense. If municipalities are going to use taxpayer funds to purchase body cams for its police officers, then the officers should be required to wear the activated body cams at all times, no exceptions! And if an officer shoots a person and his/her body cam wasn’t worn, or was worn but wasn’t activated, then that officer should be immediately fired. No excuse should be justified for a police officer not wearing his/her assigned body cam. Mr. Howey quoted Buttigieg as saying “I’m running for president as a mayor of an American city because the toughest issues we face locally are also important national issues.” In light of this statement Buttigieg has an opportunity here to take the lead and issue a public statement to the effect that all cities should have policies in effect requiring their police officers to wear their activated body cams at all times or be subject to immediate discharge if they fail to do so in any instances of excessive or deadly force. There have been far too many police shootings, particularly against blacks, where there have been unanswered questions as to what really happened because the officers weren’t wearing their assigned activated body cams. This is not acceptable. As a presidential candidate Buttigieg should step up to the plate and publicly discuss this very serious problem so the public knows where he stands on this issue.
Brian Vukadinovich, Wheatfield