Civil rights attorney Ben Crump on Sunday joined a group supporting the family of Patrick Lyoya, 26, a Black man who was shot and killed by a police officer during a traffic stop in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Crump was contacted by a Kent County Commissioner, Robert Womack.
The shooting occured on Monday, April 4, 2022, when an officer conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle whose license plate did not match the vehicle registered to it. Police said Lyoya fled the vehicle, and when the officer caught up, a lengthy fight ensued. A taser was used but Lyoya continued to struggle with the officer, ending with the officer opening fire and killing Lyoya.
The father of the victim, Peter Lyoya, and an interpreter Israel Siku, both were shown the video from the dashcam on Wednesday, April 7. The Lyoya family came to the U.S. from Democratic Republic of the Congo six or seven years ago.
Siku said he and the Lyoya family have been told the incident did not start with a traffic stop. Instead, Patrick Lyoya was having car trouble and had pulled to the side of the road when the officer pulled up behind his car. Lyoya and the interpreter say that the officer shot Patrick Lyoya in the back of the head while he laid face down on the ground. Grand Rapids police have not yet revealed what the video shows.
Grand Rapids Police Department Chief Eric Winstrom said that the officer’s bodycam fell off during the struggle but remained activated.
Kent County Prosecutor Christopher Becker said on Wednesday, April 7, “To maintain the integrity of this investigation, I have requested that involved police agencies do not release any evidence until the investigation is complete.” Michigan State Police are conducting the investigation.
Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom has committed to releasing the video by noon Friday, April 15.
On Saturday, hundreds of protesters marched in a neighborhood of the city and held a candlelight vigil.