In the shooting of an unarmed Black man in Michigan, the Grand Rapids Police Department finally released the highly demanded video footage on Wednesday confirming that one of its officers shot him in the back of his head following a misdemeanor traffic stop.
An explicit video of the shooting was released during a press conference held by the city of Grand Rapids. The 20-minute video, which captured the April 4 killing of Patrick Lyoya, revealed different angles of the incident. Four videos were recorded by dash-cam footage, body-cam footage, surveillance footage from a nearby home, and cell phone video from Lyoya’s passenger, as reported by Click on Detroit.
Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom did not identify the officer who fired the fatal shot but said the name would be released if criminal charges were filed.
The video shows the 26-year-old being pulled over that rainy morning in a residential area for allegedly having unregistered license plates. Lyoya exited the car to confront the officer, but he was told to return to the vehicle. He was also told to retrieve his driver’s license.
Footage shows the unidentified officer and Lyoya engaging before the Lyoya appears to flee to the back of a nearby lawn, where the officer manages to tackle him.
As the officer attempts to pull out his taser, Lyoya is seen pushing it away. The officer repeatedly demands he “let go” of the taser gun. Lyoya attempts to flee again before the officer subdues him face down on the ground. Windstorm said that the fight over the taser lasted 90 seconds.
The officer pulls out his gun and points it directly at Lyoya’s head, then kills him with one fatal shot.
According to NewsOne, civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Lyoya’s family, is demanding accountability.
“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. “It should be noted that Patrick never used violence against this officer even though the officer used violence against him in several instances for what was a misdemeanor traffic stop.”
He added: “We demand that the officer who killed Patrick not only be terminated for his use of excessive and fatal force but be arrested and prosecuted for the violent killing of Patrick Lyoya.”
About 250 people are at this peaceful protest for Patrick Lyoya at Rosa Parks Circle.
— Byron Tollefson (@byron_tollefson) April 13, 2022
Upon release of the videos, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Grand Rapids Police Department, demanding the release of the officer’s name. The investigation is still underway as it is up to local prosecutors to decide on charges.
“Patrick was a father of 2 daughters and a big brother to 5 siblings,” Lyoya’s GoFundMe says. “Patrick loved playing soccer and spending time with his loved ones but now he can’t do that anymore. Help us raise money for his funeral. Anything helps!”