Shooting in South Bend Derails Mayor Pete

Grind for June 27th

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

– Abraham Lincoln

Shots Fired

The Headline

Pete Buttigieg responds to police shooting

The Grind

South Bend Mayor and presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg was forced to pause his campaign this week to address a police shooting in his hometown.

On June 16th, white police officer Ryan O’Neill shot and killed black suspect Eric Logan, 54. The incident occurred while O’Neill was exploring a parking lot in response to reports of car burglaries.

The area was dark and O’Neill’s police lights were not on. O’Neill claims Logan got out of a parked car and approached him wielding a knife.

O’Neill’s body camera did not record the altercation.

On Friday, a group of Black Lives Matter supporters confronted police to demand the resignations of O’Neill and Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski.

“I’m mad because my brother died,” said Logan’s brother, Tyree. “People are getting tired of you letting your officers do whatever they want to do.”

The Details

Mayor Pete has already struggled to attract support from black voters, and his response to the police shooting may very well have cost him a crucial demographic.

In 2012, Buttigieg ousted the city’s black police chief over accusations that he had improperly recorded white officers’ use of racist language.

“You might as well just withdraw your name from the presidential race,” said one protestor.

Speaking to residents during a town hall meeting on Sunday, Buttigieg said he would welcome outside scrutiny of the case – including from the Justice Department – but refused to sign a petition asking the agency to investigate.

Buttigieg acknowledged residents’ complaints about the local police force, but offered no solutions.

“We have tried, but not succeeded to increase diversity in the police department,” he said. “And while body cameras have been implemented across the police department, there is frustration, which I share, that they were not there when we needed them the most.”

“What I hope African Americans watching this see is that our city is facing this. We’re not running away from it. This isn’t theoretical for us, this isn’t something being debated in Washington…This is our problem, as it is a problem in so many places. And we are on the front lines of it. And we’re doing everything we know how.”

Residents expressed disappointment when Buttigieg attended the South Carolina Democratic Convention on Saturday.

“You went to South Carolina when you got something here in your own city?” asked community activist Komaneach Wheeler. “Why don’t you want to talk to us?”

To Infinity And Beyond

The Headline

Astronomers detect highest-energy photons ever seen on Earth

The Grind

Astronomers this month recorded an unprecedented blast of cosmic rays including photos with energies more than five times higher than any light ever recorded on Earth.

The blast is believed to have come from the Crab Nebula – a swirling mass of dust and gas left over from a star that went supernova more than 900 years ago.

The Details

The Crab Nebula, which is located more than 6,000 light-years from Earth, is the highest energy source in the night sky in terms of x-rays and gamma rays. Inside the nebula is a highly-magnetized neutron star or “pulsar,” which spins at a rate of 30x per second and emits beams of electromagnetic radiation.

The high-energy blast that reached Earth is likely the result of the nebula’s effect on local protons and electrons combined with those particles’ interaction with the cosmic microwave background (the photons left over from the Big Bang). Data on the blast was gathered by the Tibet Air Shower Array, an observatory located in a remote region of Tibet known as the “Roof of the World.”

The very existence of the high-energy photons sheds light on the conditions inside the Crab Nebula and could give astronomers clues about the complex processes that generate the pulsar’s shock waves.

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