Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude
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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

Family of Patrick Lyoya Calls for Prosecution of Grand Rapids Officer [Update]

Four videos released showing the moments before Lyoya was shot by a Grand Rapids officer. Lyoya's family calling for the prosecution of the officer.

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Updated as of 4/18/2022 as of 10:30 a.m. ET

Trigger warning: The visuals may be upsetting to some viewers.

Patrick Lyoya’s family and have called for the termination and prosecution of the officer following the release of the video footage on the incident, reported CNN. Four videos of the moments before Lyoya was killed by a Grand Rapids police officer have been released by the police chief, reported The Associated Press.

In a community conversation with religious and community leaders, Lyoya’s parents and his brother mourned Patrick’s death and called for discipline against the officer who killed him.

“When we run away from war in the [Democratic Republic of the Congo], I thought that I came to a safe land. And now, I’m surprised and astonished to see that my son is shot here. That is my beloved son, and you know how you love your first-born son,” Dorcas Lyoya, Patrick’s father, said through an interpreter via CNN.

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Police Chief Eric Winstrom released four videos Wednesday of the shooting, including footage recorded by a passenger in Lyoya’s car, a doorbell camera, the officer’s body camera and the patrol car camera. The video shows the struggle that ensued moments before the officer shot and killed Lyoya.

Read on the contents of the video from The Detroit News:

During the stop, the video shows Lyoya exiting the vehicle before the officer approaches. The officer instructs him to get back into the car, asks for his license and if he speaks English, to which Lyoya replies yes. The family’s native language is Swahili, said Israel Siku, an interpreter for the family.

The officer tells Lyoya the car isn’t registered as Lyoya appears confused and dismissive. The officer asks for his driver’s license.

Lyoya tells the officer his license is in the car, and he stands at the vehicle with the door open for nearly 30 seconds before closing the door. The officer shouts, “nope, nope” and tries to get Lyoya on the hood of the car the man was driving.

That’s when the conflict begins, and Lyoya breaks free, runs around the car and into a nearby yard. The officer calls for backup, stating, “the individual is running,” and a struggle ensues again in the front yard of a home adjacent to where Lyoya was pulled over.

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At some point during the fight, the officer pulled a stun gun and deployed it twice into the ground, according to Winstrom. Then, as the officer was on top of Lyoya to subdue him, he fired his gun into the back of his head.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump spoke out on behalf of Lyoya’s family. “The video clearly shows that this was an unnecessary, excessive, and fatal use of force against an unarmed Black man who was confused by the encounter and terrified for his life,” Crump said in a statement via AP News.

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According to The Detroit News, the officer has been placed on paid leave and stripped of his powers amidst the Michigan State Police investigation.