Police Shooting of Patrick Lyoya in Michigan Sparks Protests Following Video Release
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The shooting of a 26-year old Congolese immigrant by a police officer in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has sparked recurring public protests after the release of video footage showing the incident.
The shooting sparked public demonstrations in Grand Rapids, with protesters gathering Wednesday evening at Rosa Parks Circle and marching to the GRPD headquarters. Organizers told protesters that the public demonstrations would resume on Thursday evening.
Civil Rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who has been retained by the Lyoya family, demanded that the officer who killed Lyoya be fired, arrested and prosecuted.
On April 4, a police officer pulled over Patrick Lyoya due to a suspected license plate violation. The video footage shows that the exchange between the two became heated after Lyoya refused to stay in his car as ordered by the officer. Lyoya then tried to run away, prompting the officer to run after him and begin grappling on a nearby front lawn.
During the encounter, the video footage shows Lyoya and the officer engaged in a struggle over the officer’s Taser. The officer then got on top of Lyoya’s back while grappling with him over the Taser, at which point he repeated his order to let go of the Taser before shooting him in the back of the head with a handgun.
The officer, who is yet to be identified, has been placed on paid administrative leave while the incident is investigated. Grand Rapids Police Department (GRPD) Chief Eric Winstrom said the unnamed officer will not be identified publicly unless there criminal charges are brought up against him.
GRPD released multiple sources of video footage showing the incident between Lyoya and the officer, including cell phone footage from the passenger riding with Lyoya, body camera footage from the officer and dashcam footage from the officer’s car.