SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Police officers were busy in the city of South bend over the weekend as investigators have counted and say over 300 gunshots were fired throughout the city between Friday and Sunday.
“Been one of the highest numbers, and I’ve been on the department for 30 years, this has been one of the highest number of gunshots that we’ve had in that short a time span,” said SBPD Patrol Division Chief Eric Crittendon.
At least five people were hurt in several shootings throughout South Bend, one of whom was a 13-year-old boy, say investigators. In one particular shooting police say over 70 shots were fired near a gas station where many people were gathered at Olive and Bertrand Streets early Saturday morning.
“We need the community’s help,” said Crittendon. “This is not just a police problem. This is a community problem and we can’t solve it without the community. We need their help.”
The violent weekend comes as police both in South Bend and throughout the rest of the U.S. are facing much scrutiny in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which has sparked peaceful protests, but in many cases violent riots.
The police were a topic of discussion among Common Council members in a meeting Monday night at city hall. A bill they had been considering to give police officers a 2.5-percent raise was indefinitely tabled at the demand of many protesters gathered outside city hall.
Many of those protesters demanded the city take steps to defund the police department. Though the tabling of police raises doesn’t take away any current dollars for police in South Bend, protesters were happy that more money was not being put towards the department.
Some council members expressed their support for police officers but said they would also support efforts to reform the department to ensure better practices to clamp down on racial inequity are implemented.