Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, should remove himself from the investigation and stop insinuating there is a race problem within the police department, Harvey Mills claimed Tuesday on "Tucker Carlson Tonight."
"This incident has nothing to do with race," Mills said. "This incident is about an officer that was forced to defend himself against a dangerous felon who used an eight-inch hunting knife to attack him. That's all this incident is. It has nothing to do with skin color.
"He has used this incident to further his political campaign and he cannot be unbiased about this... I would tell him that he needs to recuse himself from this investigation."
In June, South Bend Sgt. Ryan O'Neil, a 19-year department veteran, fatally shot 54-year-old Eric Logan. O’Neil was responding to reports of someone breaking into cars downtown when he encountered Logan, who authorities say was allegedly armed with a knife. The officer's body camera was switched off at the time.
In an email to supporters, Buttigieg wrote the shooting highlighted, “all police work and all of American life takes place in the shadow of racism, which hurts everyone and everything it touches."
"Historic racism, present-day racism, and generational racism – they all secrete a kind of poison into the bloodstream of this country," he wrote.
Late last month, the mayor was heckled by local residents at an event.
"You've gotta go back to South Carolina like you were yesterday -- talk about 'all lives matter' in South Carolina," one angry attendee yelled at the 37-year-old Democrat.
In his Fox News interview, Mills told host Tucker Carlson the entire situation is hurtful to law enforcement.
"It's very demoralizing," the local FOP president said. "He used the term 'systemic racism' apparently. Maybe he doesn't understand the definition of systemic. We do. That means all. He's basically called all police officers racist. That is blatantly untrue.
"I've served my whole life. First in the Navy and now as a police officer. It really comes down to a want to serve the community that you live in."
Fox News' Paul Steinhauser and Andres del Aguila contributed to this report.