Democratic Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is severing ties and returning donations from Steve Patton, a former Chicago city attorney who attempted to block the release of a video depicting the police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, a Black teenage boy who was killed unarmed in 2014. McDonald's murder sparked months of protest and resulted in an officer's conviction.
Buttigieg told reporters at the University of Chicago on Friday that it was "frustrating" his campaign managed to overlook Patton and said the former Chicago attorney's money would be returned and he "is no longer a co-host for the event and will not be attending," according to Chicago Sun Times.
"It's frustrating," Buttigieg said. "I'm going to figure out how it happened and make sure it doesn't happen again, but these things do happen and we accept responsibility and keep going."
"It should not [have happened]," he continued.
"And as somebody, and especially as the mayor of a city that has had a lot of anguish over its police and community relations, I believe very strongly that transparency and justice for Laquan McDonald are a lot more important than a campaign contribution."
TheAPreports that Patton gave a maximum donation of $5,600 in June.
The Indiana mayor is currently struggling at the polls, especially among Black voters which CNN and the Post & Courier shows Buttigieg polling at 0%. This development may add to the latest of racial controversies that surrounds Buttigieg. Others including Buttigieg's firing of South Bend's Black police chief Darryl Boykins, and the police shooting death of Eric Logan this past summer -- both of which have drawn backlash from Black locals.
Other presidential candidates didn't hesistate to chime in about Buttigieg's involvement. Including Julian Castro who wrote in an email to Politico that it shouldn't have taken four months to return the contribution:
"I applaud Mayor Buttigieg for returning the contribution," he said. "But at a time where police violence remains such a critical issue, it shouldn't take four months to return such a problematic contribution."
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