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Grand Rapids, MI – Community activists are demanding Grand Rapids police release the footage of a shooting that killed Patrick Lyoya, a 26-year-old Black man.
On April 4, police said Patrick Lyoya was pulled over for a traffic stop that led to a lengthy fight between him and a police officer. The officer then fired their weapon, killing Lyoya.
Lyoya and his family came to the United States seven years ago, fleeing violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
A march was held Saturday, April 9, where hundreds of people joined the Lyoya family urging police to release bodycam and dashcam footage of the shooting.
“Patrick is my firstborn. He became like a brother to me,” said his father Peter Lyoya. “Today I don’t know what to do because I am confused. I want justice for Patrick.”
Ben Crump calls for justice after Patrick Lyoya shot dead by police
At a community conversation forum organized by Kent County Commissioner Robert Womack, civil rights attorney Ben Crump spoke to the crowd and demanded transparency and justice.
“This is about a broken-hearted family,” Crump said, standing side-by-side with members of Lyoya’s family. “A broken-hearted Black family, who yet again has lost a loved one unjustly at the hands of the individual who was supposed to protect her son.”
In the days after the shooting of Patrick Lyoya, Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker asked police not to release any footage until an investigation was complete.
“When this video is made public, it is going to make people all over the world be emotional,” Crump said. “And it’s only right that they’re emotional because it demonstrates their humanity to see a human being’s life end in such an unnecessary manner … and such a horrific manner.”
Peter Lyoya claims that Michigan State Police showed him cruiser dashcam footage. According to Lyoya, the footage showed the officer shoot his son in the back of the head while he laid face down on the ground.
Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom has committed to releasing the footage of the police killing of Patrick Lyoya by noon Friday, April 15.
This story will be updated as information becomes available.