Meet the Firm Seeking Justice for Eric Logan

May 22, 2020

On the morning of June 16, 2019, South Bend Police received a 911 call claiming that someone was breaking into cars near the Central High Apartments in downtown South Bend. Sergeant Ryan O’Neill responded to this call and approached the apartments without activating his vehicle emergency lights, dashboard camera, or body camera. According to O’Neill, a white officer, he found Eric Logan, an African American man, hanging out of a vehicle window at the scene. Upon O’Neill’s request for identification, Logan allegedly approached him with a knife. O’Neill further reported that Logan refused to surrender his weapon, and O’Neill subsequently discharged two shots, one of which struck Logan in the abdomen. 

Rather than waiting for an ambulance to arrive, South Bend Police transported Logan to Memorial Hospital themselves, where he was later pronounced dead. Logan, a 54-year-old South Bend resident, was a father of seven children. Logan is survived by his children, as well as his wife, mother, and siblings. 

Approximately one week after Logan’s tragic death, Coffman Law Offices, P.C., led by Owner and Managing Partner Brian Coffman, filed a lawsuit on behalf of Logan’s estate against O’Neill and the City of South Bend. Brian Coffman and his team have dedicated their careers to seeking justice for victims and families subjected to personal injury, wrongful death, civil rights violations, medical malpractice, and more. 

In this case, Coffman Law’s complaint asserted counts of excessive force and unequal treatment on the basis of race. The claims alleged by Logan’s estate centered on O’Neill’s decision not to activate his body camera, despite the activation button being conveniently located on his wrist. The complaint also referenced O’Neill’s history of racist comments, as documented by a 2008 internal investigation. Furthermore, the complaint sought to hold the City of South Bend liable under a Monell claim, which imposes liability upon a municipality for its agent’s unconstitutional behavior. Read the full complaint HERE

What to Watch for in the Eric Logan Investigation 

After St. Joseph County Prosecutor Ken Cotter recused himself from the investigation due to a potential conflict of interest, an Indiana judge appointed Special Prosecutor Richard Hertel to oversee the investigation. Shortly thereafter, South Bend Police released a statement that Sergeant Ryan O’Neill resigned from the Department. Despite Coffman Law’s numerous requests and subpoenas onto the City of South Bend, Special Prosecutor Hertel has yet to release any substantive evidence or findings. 

Given the polarizing political issues underlying this case, the investigation into Eric Logan’s shooting has received significant press coverage. Notably, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has received significant criticism while on his presidential campaign as a result of Logan’s death. Days after the shooting, Buttigieg held a town hall meeting in which attendants shouted profanities and heckled Buttigieg during his speech. Additionally, in June 2019, MSNBC Commentator Rachel Maddow questioned Buttigieg on the racial issues plaguing South Bend. Buttigieg proceeded to describe Logan’s shooting by stating, “It’s a mess. And we’re hurting.” 

Coffman Law’s primary goal in this tragic case is, and has always been, to obtain justice for Eric Logan and his family. This justice can be attained not only through the damages sought in the Logan estate’s lawsuit, but also through a transparent look into the disastrous events leading to Logan’s death on June 16, 2019. 

After nine months of investigation, Special Prosecutor Hertel recently announced that his long-awaited findings would be released on March 6. Stay tuned to our blog as the Coffman Law team continues to fight for Eric Logan and his family. 

About Coffman Law Offices, P.C.

Coffman Law is committed to providing superb legal representation for people who are suffering from severe personal injuries or are dealing with the loss of a loved one due to negligence or misconduct. Coffman Law is a results-driven firm focused on ensuring that clients receive the compassion, attention, and consideration that they need to seek adequate redress for injuries or loss. The firm is led by Owner and Founding Partner Brian Coffman, who has dedicated his career to helping accident victims navigate the legal system and obtain redress for their injuries. If you have been injured or lost a loved one, contact Coffman Law today for a free consultation.