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Nearly five months after the deadly police shooting of a black man in South Bend, Ind., pulled Mayor Pete Buttigieg off the campaign trail, the Democratic presidential hopeful is highlighting his plans to heal fractured relationships between law enforcement and African American communities across the country.
"These relationships are important, I think not only from the perspective of racial justice [but also] from the perspective of public safety itself," Buttigieg said during a discussion in NPR's Off Script series.
Buttigieg spoke with NPR host Scott Simon and two undecided voters in his hometown on Wednesday, acknowledging the criticism he's faced for overseeing a police department that doesn't reflect the racial makeup of the South Bend. African Americans make up about 26% of the city's population, but its police force is about 88% white.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg is interviewed at Pegg's Diner in South Bend, Indiana. Lucy Hewett for NPR hide caption
"We've had a real struggle with that during my time as mayor," Buttigieg said. "But not only [in] South Bend. It's really a national challenge."
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