US Grand Rapids officer who killed Patrick Lyoya should be fired and prosecuted, family says
Man arrested, charged with murder in Cedar Rapids nightclub shooting that left 2 dead, 10 injured
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GRAND RAPIDS — The family of Patrick Lyoya, the Congolese refugee who was shot by a Grand Rapids police officer during a traffic stop earlier this month,
The video of the shooting "was the most horrifying thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life," said Thomas Lyoya, Patrick's younger brother, during a Thursday news conference.
depicts a white Grand Rapids police officer fatally shooting Patrick Lyoya, 26, on April 4. State officials have promised a full investigation. Meanwhile, protesters rallied this week in downtown Grand Rapids, calling for justice in his death.
Police in Michigan release videos of fatal police shooting of Patrick Lyoya
Grand Rapids Police Department in Michigan is expected to release several videos on Wednesday of the fatal police shooting of Patrick Lyoya.The videos, from a body-worn camera, an in-car camera, a cellphone and a home surveillance system, show the final moments of Patrick Lyoya’s life.
During a press conference Thursday, the Lyoya family and their attorneys called on authorities to release the name of the officer, fire and prosecute him for the death of Lyoya.
The officer, who has not been publicly identified, was put on administrative leave, Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom previously said.
"I want to know the person who killed my son," said Patrick Lyoya's father, Peter, who also called for an arrest and conviction. "I have the right."
WHO WAS PATRICK LYOYA?
The Lyoyas are refugees who fled Congo to escape violence in 2014. Patrick Lyoya's mom, Dorcas, said she thought the U.S. would be safe.
Grand Rapids, Michigan, police release video of fatal traffic stop shooting of Patrick Lyoya
Patrick Lyoya, who police said fought with an officer after his vehicle was stopped over the license plate, was killed by an officer Monday.The video, a collection of dashcam footage, body cam footage, a home security camera, and a cell phone video, depicts an unnamed police officer pulling over Lyoya and a passenger for a "license plate that doesn't match the car.
"He is my firstborn," she said. "I am really deeply hurt and wounded. I don’t know what to do, I cannot stop myself from crying. All the mothers here, you know the pain we go through to give birth to a child... I was thinking it was my son who would bury me, but I am the one burying my son."
Patrick Lyoya's parents spoke through a translator, Israel Siku, who at one point was himself overcome with emotion.
At the news conference Thursday, attorney Ben Crump, who is representing the family, compared the treatment of Black people in the U.S. by police to what Russian soldiers are doing in Ukraine. The national civil rights attorney has previously represented the families of George Floyd, killed by Minneapolis police in May 2020, and Breonna Taylor, killed by Louisville, Kentucky, police in March 2020.
“We are condemning Russian soldiers for shooting civilians in Ukraine in the back of the head," Crump said. "Why aren’t we condemning police officers here in the United States of America shooting Black civilians in the back of the head? It's a simple question. If it's wrong in Ukraine ... it's wrong in Grand Rapids, Michigan."
Videos show what led up to police officer shooting dead Black man in Grand Rapids
Warning: This article contains video that shows the moments leading up to Patrick Lyoya’s death. Viewer discretion is advised. GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Promising transparency and a thorough investigation, the Grand Rapids Police Department on Wednesday released video that shows an officer pulling over Patrick Lyoya and a long struggle between the two that…GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Promising transparency and a thorough investigation, the Grand Rapids Police Department on Wednesday released video that shows an officer pulling over Patrick Lyoya and a long struggle between the two that ends with the officer shooting and killing Lyoya.
WHAT WE KNOW:
Crump thanked the Grand Rapids city manager and police chief for releasing the video, because "truth is the foundation for us to get justice." He also demanded authorities release the name of the officer who shot Lyoya, fire the officer and prosecute him.
In the video, Lyoya and a passenger were pulled over by the unnamed officer for a traffic stop. Lyoya appeared not to comply with the officer's requests to stay in the car and to provide his driver's license. He ran around the car, the officer tackled him and they appeared to struggle over the officer's stun gun for about 90 seconds, Police Chief Eric Winstrom said.
The Taser was deployed twice, but never made contact.
Video shows Patrick Lyoya shot in head by Michigan officer
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A Black man face-down on the ground was fatally shot in the back of the head by a Michigan police officer, the violent climax of a traffic stop, brief foot chase and struggle over a stun gun, according to videos of the April 4 incident. Patrick Lyoya, 26, was killed outside a house in Grand Rapids. The white officer repeatedly ordered Lyoya to “let go” of his Taser, at one point demanding: “Drop the Taser!” Citing aPatrick Lyoya, 26, was killed outside a house in Grand Rapids.
Then, with the police officer on top and Patrick facedown on the ground, the officer shot him in the head.
"When you think about all the things (the officer) could have done to avoid shooting Patrick in the back of the head," Crump said. "This officer failed to follow the basic training when he engages Patrick, he goes and puts hands on him. And when Patrick goes to walk away, he could have just stepped back and called for backup... All he had to do was to call for backup and wait, and this matter could have ended so differently."
Crump said the police department's model of Taser only has two deployments in it before the cartridge needs to be replaced. Therefore, Crump said, the Taser was "rendered ineffective" when the officer fired his gun and there was "no reason" for the officer to be scared.
The police department uses the Taser 7 model, according to spokesperson Jennifer Kalczuk. She confirmed the Taser only has two cartridges, but said it can still produce an electrical discharge across the leads in the front of the device.
Ven Johnson, another attorney for the family, said Thursday that the officer couldn't have feared for his life because he was on top of Lyoya.
"You cannot shoot and kill an unarmed man because he resisted," Johnson said at the news conference. "... No weapon was ever being used against the officer."
Family of Black man killed by Michigan police demands criminal charges
Family of Black man killed by Michigan police demands criminal charges(Reuters) - The family of an African refugee killed by a Michigan police officer during a traffic stop demanded on Thursday that authorities dismiss the officer from the force and file criminal charges against him, a day after a video of the fatal shooting was released.
The footage is a compilation of videos from a cellphone, a home security camera, a dashboard camera and the officer's body camera, which was deactivated during the struggle.
Johnson said the family intends to file a federal lawsuit over the killing.
"Patrick had no weapon, no gun, no knife, nothing," Johnson said. "Patrick never threatened him."
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, meanwhile, said Wednesday she "will never stop fighting to make Michigan a more equitable and just state.”
She and Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist had spoken with Lyoya's family, she said in a statement.
"He had his whole life ahead of him. Patrick was a son, a dad of two young daughters, and an older brother to his five siblings," she said.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press:
Police stops of Black people often filled with fear, anxiety .
The video seems clear: Patrick Lyoya disobeyed an officer during a traffic stop, tried to run, then wrestled with the officer over his Taser before the officer fatally shot him in Grand Rapids, Michigan. For a number of Black men and women, resisting arrest during encounters with police for minor traffic stops have been deadly. Experts say anxiety levels of the people stopped and even the officers involved can be high, adding to the tension. George Floyd's 2020 slaying by Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, the 2014 strangulation death of Eric Garner by a New York City officer and the shooting death of Michael Brown that same year by an officer in Ferguson, Missour