The April 4 death of Patrick Lyoya, 26, has outraged members of his family and touched off protests in Grand Rapids by activists
Police in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Wednesday released three videos of a police officer shooting a Black man dead as the two men fought in the rain on a suburban front lawn following a traffic stop.
The April 4 death of Patrick Lyoya, 26, has outraged members of his family and touched off protests in Grand Rapids by activists who say it represents the latest example of police violence against young Black men.
Grand Rapids police officials have placed the officer, who has not been named publicly, on administrative leave and have asked the Michigan State Police to investigate the shooting.
Prosecutors in Kent County told CNN on Wednesday that they will make a decision on possible criminal charges once the investigation is complete.
“Another Black man has died at the hands of police, and the officer in this video has got to be held accountable,” the NAACP said in a written statement responding to the video.
“President Biden, sign the police reform executive order now. While we fully understand an executive order is not a substitute for meaningful legislation, we must do everything in our power to protect our community,” the NAACP said.
The videos released on Wednesday by police were taken from the dashboard of the officer’s squad car, from his body-worn camera and from a neighbor’s surveillance camera.
They show Lyoya stepping out of the car on a rainy street, seemingly confused and asking “what did I do?” as the policeman repeatedly asks for a driver’s license and orders him to get back inside the vehicle.
Lyoya appears to be complying, but then closes the driver-side door and attempts to walk away, resisting the officers attempts to handcuff him.
Following a short foot chase, the two men grapple on the lawn, at one point fighting over the officer’s stun gun, before Lyoya is shot.
The incident began after the officer stopped Lyoya over suspicions involving his license plate.
Speaking through a translator at a press conference on Thursday, Lyoya’s parents mourned the loss of their first-born son, saying they did not believe that this could happen in the United States.
“My heart is broken to see an officer being on top of my son and to shoot him in the back of his head, my heart is really broken,” said Peter Lyoya, his father. “I’m asking for justice for Patrick.”