GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Grand Rapids Police Department (GRPD) has released video footage of the officer involved shooting and killing of 26-year-old Patrick Lyoya. The video release includes body camera, in-squad car video, cell phone and doorbell video footage of the encounter.
According to authorities, the encounter between Lyoya and the unidentified officer happened on April 4 around 8 a.m. when the officer pulled Lyoya over for a license plate violation.
In the dashcam and body cam video, Lyoya is seen exiting his vehicle as the officer pulls him over. The officer tells Lyoya to stay in the car as he approaches however, Lyoya remains standing outside the car.
The officer asks Lyoya for his driver’s license multiple times, telling him he pulled him over because the license plate does not match the car he is driving. Lyoya tells the officer his license is inside the car, opens the door and speaks to a passenger inside the car while the officer stands by. When Lyoya closes the car door without retrieving the license and appears to walk towards the other side of the vehicle, the officer grabs him and tells him to put his hands behind his back. Lyoya breaks free and attempts to flee. The officer tackles him within seconds and a struggle ensues. The officer gains control of Lyoya, then loses control shortly afterward and tries to use a Taser on Lyoya.
After another physical struggle with the officer, Lyoya was shot and killed. GRPD Chief Eric Winstrom confirmed the officer’s body camera was found at the scene, but said it wasn’t clear how it came off.
The only video that showed a clear picture of the shooting was the cell phone video. In the cell phone video the officer can be seen on Lyoya’s back still struggling, telling the man to “drop the taser.” The officer then pulls his gun, puts it to Lyoya’s head and fires.
The officer who shot and killed Lyoya has not been publicly identified, but GRPD did say the officer joined the department in 2015. He has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation.
Patrick Lyoya was a 26-year-old Congolese refugee. His family fled the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the United States fearing violence.
Lyoya was his parents’ firstborn son, and has five younger siblings. He was also a father to two daughters.
Lyoya’s family, who viewed the video before it was released to the public, is calling for justice and for transparency. Their case is being represented by civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump.
Crump’s office issued this statement on Monday, April 11:
“The Lyoya family came to our country in pursuit of the American dream, but instead are now living a traumatic American nightmare as they have to bury their loved one due to police brutality. We are once again reminded of how swiftly a police interaction can turn deadly for Black men in America and just how far we have to go to change that.
“From what Patrick’s father has expressed after viewing the body camera footage, we believe that the release of the footage will show the true and raw narrative of how Patrick lost his life to police. We will continue to push for the public release of the footage from this incident and full transparency from Michigan State Police as they continue to investigate this tragic incident.”
On Tuesday, April 13, community activists and others organized a rally and march to the Grand Rapids City Commission meeting.
More than a hundred people marched through downtown to voice their opinions to city leaders during the public comment portion of the meeting.
The shooting is currently being investigated by The Michigan State Police. According to authorities, detectives will interview eyewitnesses and look over evidence, including all the video footage taken during the encounter.
Once complete they will hand over their findings to the prosecutor’s office who will determine what’s next.
GRPD said it’s standard practice to wait for MSP’s investigation to be complete before they launch an internal affairs review. The Office of Oversight and Public Accountability will monitor the investigations and review any findings.
Authorities are asking anyone who has any additional information or video to contact Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345.
Video of the encounter can be watched here. WARNING: THIS LINK CONTAINS PROFANITY AND SHOWS THE LOSS OF LIFE. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.