Updated as of 4/13/2022 at 12:00 p.m. ET
Patrick Lyoya was shot and killed by a Grand Rapids police officer during a traffic stop on April 4, reported MLive. Protesters gathered at a Grand Rapids City Commission meeting to demand justice for Lyoya, who was 26. They want disciplinary action against the officer and the release of the footage showing the moment Lyoya was shot.
The Royal Black Panther Party Grand Rapids organized the march, according to MLive. Protesters chanted “Black lives matter” and “Say his name: Patrick” walking into the City Hall.
The chants could be heard nine floors up in City Commission Chambers, where the public body was set to meet for the first time since a Grand Rapids police officer killed Patrick Lyoya on April 4.
“I need everyone to understand that the city commission are equally responsible for Patrick (Lyoya’s) murder as the police department is. We told them that this would happen, and they did not listen nor did they care,” said Aly Bates, chairwoman of the Royal Black Panther Party Grand Rapids.
Reports say a Grand Rapids police officer pulled Lyoya over because the license plate was not registered to his vehicle. Reports also claim an altercation ensued between Lyoya and the officer, resulting in the officer shooting and killing Lyoya. Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom said Lyoya tried to escape arrest which led to a fight lasting two minutes, however, it was not clear the exact moment when he was shot, per MLive.
Yet when Lyoya’s father, Peter, saw the dashcam video of the incident, he said the officer shot Patrick in the back of the head while he laid face down on the ground. Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump supported demands that the camera footage be released.
More on the case from MLive:
In the days after the shooting, calls grew louder for police to release video footage. These came as Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker asked police not to release any evidence, including footage, until the investigation is 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 life end in such an unnecessary manner … and such a horrific manner.”
MLive reported Winstrom decided to release the video Wednesday afternoon. He initially aimed for Friday April 15 because he wanted to give the state police time to collect all evidence, including body camera footage, from the incident for the investigation.
Lyoya’s family came to the US from the Democratic Republic of Congo eight years ago to escape the violence, reported MLive. Pete Lyoya said there’s still no saftey here.
“I want the video to be shown to the world. I want the world to see what happened to my son,” said Lyoya via MLive.