Grand Rapids police video shows officer’s fatal shooting of Patrick Lyoya

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Police Department released video on Wednesday that shows one of its officers shooting and killing Patrick Lyoya, a 26-year-old Black man, during a confrontation with police earlier this month.

The shooting happened on April 4 in Grand Rapids. At the time, Grand Rapids Police said Lyoya tried to run away from an officer because he was worried about being arrested, which led to a “lengthy” fight, and Lyola was shot and killed. The officer’s name has not been released.

The explicit video released Wednesday showed several camera angles, including body-cam footage, surveillance footage from a nearby home, and cell phone video from the other man in the car with Lyoya.

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The video shows officers pulling over Lyoya, citing that his plates were not registered to his car. Lyoya is seen exiting his car as an officer told him to get back in the car. Footage shows the officer speaking to Lyoya, asking him to get his driver’s license. He opens the door and says something to a man in the passenger side. He then closes the door and appears to try and flee the officer, which results in some pushing and shoving.

Lyoya then begins to run away from the officer, onto a nearby lawn, where the officer chases him down and tackles him to the ground. The officer keeps asking Lyoya to “stop resisting,” as he and Lyoya continue to struggle for control.

The officer then takes out his Taser gun and fires it at Lyoya (he was not hit by the Taser), who then appears to grab the officer’s Taser gun.

The officer repeatedly tells him to “let go” of the Taser gun, before taking out his handgun and pointing it against Lyoya’s back, while he seemingly had Lyoya pinned to the ground with his knee. He asks Lyoya to release the Taser gun again before firing a fatal shot into his head. At no point was Lyoya armed with a fatal weapon.

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Grand Rapids police showed the 20 minute video in its entirety, and said they are not the one determining the legality of the use of force. The police chief declined to name the officer involved but said the officer has been placed on leave.

Michigan State Police and the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office are reviewing the incident, but a decision on possible charges is not expected this week. Kent County’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Stephen Cohle, said he completed the autopsy on the day of Lyoya’s death, but toxicology results have not been publicly released. He said the full report would not be released until state police complete an investigation.

Protests surrounding the shooting have been taking place around Grand Rapids over the last week, with faith leaders called for peace and justice ahead of the video release.

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