Buttigieg decision on police chief shadows presidential run

Indiana

Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg looks on during a town hall community meeting, Sunday, June 23, 2019, at Washington High School in South Bend, Ind. Buttigieg faced criticism from angry black residents at the emotional town hall meeting, a week after a white police officer fatally shot a black man in the city. (Robert Franklin/South Bend Tribune via AP)

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Lingering criticism over Pete Buttigieg’s demotion of a popular black police chief when Buttigieg was mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has raised questions about whether the presidential candidate can attract the support of African Americans.

Buttigieg has said he was saving the chief from possible federal criminal charges. But interviews and documents paint a more complicated picture that’s not as flattering to Buttigieg.

While some say they believe the then-30-year-old Buttigieg was trying to do the right thing, others tell The Associated Press his lack of experience led him to take actions that weren’t well thought out and that damaged his standing in the black community.

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