Home » Who is Patrick Lyoya?(Video shows a Michigan police officer on Black man’s back before he fatally shot him) Wiki, Bio, Age, Instagram, Twitter & Quick Facts
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Who is Patrick Lyoya?(Video shows a Michigan police officer on Black man’s back before he fatally shot him) Wiki, Bio, Age, Instagram, Twitter & Quick Facts

Patrick Lyoya

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Who is Patrick Lyoya?

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, foot chase and fight over a stun gun, according to videos of the April 4 incident released. Wednesday.

Patrick Lyoya, 26, was killed outside a home in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The white officer repeatedly ordered Lyoya to “drop” the Taser on him, at one point demanding, “Drop the Taser!”

Citing a need for transparency, the city’s new police chief, Eric Winstrom, released four videos, including critical footage of the shooting recorded by a passenger in Lyoya’s car that rainy morning.

“I look at it as a tragedy … It was a progression of sadness for me,” said Winstrom, a former high-ranking Chicago police commander who became chief of Grand Rapids in March. The city of about 200,000 people is about 150 miles northwest of Detroit.

The video shows Lyoya running away from the officer who stopped him for driving with a license plate that did not belong to the vehicle. They fought in front of several houses while Lyoya’s passenger got out and watched.

Investigation

Winstrom said the Taser fight lasted about 90 seconds. In the final moments, the officer was on top of Lyoya, kneeling on his back at times to subdue him.

“From my point of view from the video, the taser was deployed twice. The taser made no contact,” Winstrom told reporters. “And Mr. Lyoya was shot in the head. That’s the only information I have, though.”

State police are investigating the shooting. Kent County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Stephen Cohle said he has completed the autopsy but toxicology tests have not yet been completed.

The traffic stop was tense from the start. The video shows Lyoya, originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, getting out of the car before the officer approached. She ordered Lyoya to get back in the vehicle, but the man refused.

The officer asked her if she spoke English and demanded her driver’s license. The foot chase began shortly after, the video shows.

Winstrom did not identify the officer, a seven-year veteran who is on paid leave during the investigation.

“Being from Chicago for the last 20 years, I’ve handled a lot of police shootings, so I have a lot of experience with this,” the chief said. “I was hoping I’d never have to use that experience here.”

Video was collected from Lyoya’s passenger, officer’s body camera, officer’s cruiser, and doorbell camera. Prosecutor Chris Becker, who will decide whether any charges are warranted, opposed the release but said Winstrom could act on his behalf.

Becker said the public shouldn’t expect a quick decision.

“While the videos released today are important evidence, they are not all the evidence,” he said.

City Manager Mark Washington warned that the videos would prompt “expressions of shock, anger and pain.” Some downtown businesses boarded up their storefronts and concrete barricades surrounded police headquarters.

Family

Lyoya had two young daughters and five brothers, said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who spoke with her family.

“He came to the United States as a refugee with his family fleeing violence. He had his whole life ahead of him,” said Whitmer, a Democrat.

More than 100 people marched to Grand Rapids City Hall ahead of a City Commission meeting Tuesday night, chanting “Black Lives Matter” and “No Justice, No Peace.”

Winstrom said last week that he met Lyoya’s father, Peter Lyoya, and that they both cried.

“I get it as a parent… It’s just heartbreaking,” the boss told WOOD-TV.

As in many US cities, Grand Rapids police have occasionally been criticized for their use of force, particularly against blacks, who make up 18% of the population.

In November, the Michigan Supreme Court heard arguments in a lawsuit over the practice of photographing and fingerprinting people who have never been charged with a crime. Grand Rapids said the policy changed in 2015.

A downtown street has been designated Breonna Taylor Way, named for the Black woman and Grand Rapids native who was killed by police in Louisville, Ky., during a botched drug raid in 2020.

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