Help Defend Officer Ryan O'Neill

Help Defend Officer Ryan O'Neill

From Harvey Mills

This page is intended to raise funds for the legal defense and communications relating to South Bend Police Sergeant Ryan O'Neill. Sgt. O'Neill is being smeared by anti-police activists for defending his life.

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Update #3

about 1 month ago

Thanks to everyone who has contributed. We know that it's wrong to second guess police officers who have to make split second, life or death decisions. Thanks to your generosity, the FOP has been able to retain counsel for Sgt. O'Neill to help defend both his reputation and his legal interests. Thanks again for your support.

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Sgt. Ryan O'Neill is being vilified by anti-police activists and Democrat Mayor and Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg for defending his life when he was attacked by a convicted felon armed with an eight inch hunting knife.  

Here's what the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #36 recently had to say:

The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #36 in South Bend, Indiana called on Mayor Pete Buttigieg to fully recuse himself from all decisions related to the investigation of the June 16th incident where a police officer was forced to defend himself when a dangerous felon attacked him with an eight-inch hunting knife.

“Mayor Buttigieg has repeatedly shown that he’s more concerned about boosting his own presidential political campaign than ensuring a fair investigation about an incident where a veteran police officer was forced to defend himself when a dangerous felon attacked him with an eight-inch hunting knife,” Harvey Mills, South Bend FOP President said. 

“On a national TV debate, the mayor called our entire police force racist while another candidate insisted that Buttigieg fire the police chief. Since this incident is now part of the accusations and political posturing of presidential politics, Mayor Buttigieg must do the right thing and recuse himself from any further decisions related to this matter.”

In the dark morning hours of 3:30 AM on Sunday, June 16, Sergeant Ryan O’Neill, a 19-year veteran of the department, received a call about a man breaking into cars at an apartment complex near downtown. Sgt. O’Neill drove to the scene and observed a man, later identified as Eric Logan, with only his legs sticking out from the front seat of a car. Thinking the man may be the car’s owner, Sgt. O’Neill got out of his patrol car and asked the man if this was his car. The man claimed it was. 

However, when the man stood up, Sgt. O’Neill observed that his hand was bleeding, and a woman’s purse was halfway stuck in his clothing. When Sgt. O’Neill asked him about the purse, the six-foot-two suspect stood up and raised an eight inch hunting knife over his head and began moving directly toward the officer.Sgt. O’Neill immediately began backing up and loudly ordered the suspect the drop the knife, three separate times. 

Instead of dropping the knife, the suspect continued to move toward Sgt. O’Neill. When Sgt. O’Neill ran out of room to retreat, he fired his duty weapon twice, hitting the suspect once -- just as the suspect hurled the hunting knife at him. The blade hit Sgt. O’Neill, causing minor injuries to his forearm.The suspect remained standing but never answered any questions from the officer as to whether he’d been shot. The suspect’s erratic behavior throughout the entire incident appeared be the result of drug intoxication. Sgt. O’Neill coordinated the medical response and worked with other officers, who rather than wait for EMS, rushed the suspect to the hospital in a police car.

Mills continued, “Police are taught to treat a knife as a deadly weapon, because a suspect armed with a knife within 21-feet of an officer is as much of a deadly threat as a suspect with a gun. In this case, the suspect armed with an eight-inch hunting knife was less than 10 feet from the officer and refused multiple commands to drop the weapon. In light of self-defense law and police training, this shooting was completely justified.”

According to official court records available to the public, the suspect armed with the eight-inch hunting knife had an active felony warrant for violating his probation at the time of the shooting and likely faced being returned to prison for the remaining seven years of a previous prison sentence if Sgt. O’Neill had arrested him. The suspect also had several previous criminal convictions on his record, including drug and weapons offenses.“Mayor Buttigieg swore an oath to ‘faithfully, impartially, and diligently discharge the duties of the office of mayor’ of South Bend but he’s been faithful only to his political interests, has not been impartial about this incident, and has diligently used this to advance his presidential campaign,” Mills concluded. “If he wants to honor the oath he took, Mayor Buttigieg will recuse himself from this matter by taking no part in any decisions, conversations, or other aspects of it.”

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Help Harvey raise $85,000 by making a donation.

Harvey Mills posted a new update:
about 1 month ago

Update #3

Thanks to everyone who has contributed. We know that it's wrong to second guess police officers who have to make split second, life or death decisions. Thanks to your generosity, the FOP has been able to retain counsel for Sgt. O'Neill to help defend both his reputation and his legal interests. Thanks again for your support.

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Harvey Mills posted a new update:
about 1 month ago

Update #2

Sgt. O'Neill has this to say this morning:

I'd like to take a moment to express my sincere gratitude, not only to the people who have donated, but to everyone who is following the events in South Bend. The level of support we've received is simply overwhelming!

Like so many American families, ours is focused on loving each other and working hard. Being thrown into the middle of a Presidential campaign was something we never anticipated. The support we've received is tremendous and has helped to balance the intense pressure we're under.

Our family will soon grow by one, but this event has helped us realize that we were part of a much larger family all along.

Your brother in blue,

Sgt. Ryan O'Neill

Debbie Willis Ponzetti commented on a blog post:
about 1 month ago
I live a few towns away and find Mayor Pete’s comments so offensive. I stand behind Officer O’Neill all the way
Amanda Lynn commented on a blog post:
about 1 month ago
We stand with you! #backtheblue

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Harvey Mills posted a new update:
about 1 month ago

Update #1

On July 2nd, FOP Lodge 36 President Harvey Mills appeared on the Tucker Carlson show to talk about this incident and how Mayor Buttigieg has unjustly accused the South Bend Police Department of being racist and insinuated that Sgt. O'Neill did something wrong with absolutely zero evidence to support it. Since then, we've seen a flood of new donors who want to help us in our fight against anti-police groups who are out to smear all police. We've hit our preliminary goal and have now raised our goal to $50,000. (Sgt. O'Neill will have to pay for his own lawyer to defend himself in the civil lawsuit).

Thanks to everyone for your support!

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