Body camera footage shows fatal police shooting of Grand Rapids man

Patrick Lyoya was shot following a struggle with a police officer.

April 14, 2022, 3:37 PM

Police in Grand Rapids, Michigan, released video footage on Wednesday of the fatal police shooting of a Black man during a traffic stop April 4.

Patrick Lyoya, 26, a native of Congo, was shot by an officer following a struggle outside a house in Grand Rapids after he was pulled over for a faulty license plate, according to police.

The footage shows the white officer, whose name has not yet been released, struggling with Lyoya, eventually forcing him to the ground and shouting “stop resisting,” “let go” and "drop the Taser," before shooting Lyoya in the head.

PHOTO: A  monitor displays video evidence of a Grand Rapids police officer struggling with and shooting Patrick Lyoya, during a press conference in Grand Rapids, Mich., April 13, 2022.
A monitor displays video evidence of a Grand Rapids police officer struggling with and shooting Patrick Lyoya, during a press conference in Grand Rapids, Mich., April 13, 2022. Lyoya, 26, was shot and killed about 8:10 a.m., on April 4, after what police said was a traffic stop.
Grand Rapids Police Department via AP

The city's new police chief, Eric Winstrom, released four videos of the incident Wednesday amid pressure from the community. These include a dashcam video, body camera video, a cell phone video and surveillance video from a neighbor.

“I view it as a tragedy...It was a progression of sadness for me,” said Winstrom, during a press conference.

“Me being from Chicago for the last 20 years, I’ve handled many police shootings myself, so I do have a lot of experience in this,” the chief said. "I was hoping to never have to utilize that experience here.”

PHOTO: A monitor displays an image of Patrick Lyoya from police bodycam video during an encounter with a Grand Rapids police officer, during a press conference on April 13, 2022, at Grand Rapids City Hall.
A monitor displays an image of Patrick Lyoya from police bodycam video during an encounter with a Grand Rapids police officer, during a press conference on April 13, 2022, at Grand Rapids City Hall. Lyoya, 26, was shot and killed about 8:10 a.m., on April 4, after what police said was a traffic stop.
Grand Rapids Police Department via AP

Winstrom said Grand Rapids Police and Michigan State Police are conducting an ongoing investigation and he would not comment further or take any action until after the investigation.

He said the officer is a seven-year veteran of the Grand Rapids Police who is currently on paid leave and “stripped of all police powers” as the investigation is ongoing.

The footage released Wednesday shows the officer shouting at Lyoya to “get back in the car” shortly after the video began. He then asked Lyoya if he spoke English and demanded he show his driver's license. Lyoya turned to the passenger in the car and started to walk away. The officer then grabbed him, beginning an aggressive struggle.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump who is representing Lyoya’s family says the family is devastated and he is calling for the officer to be fired and prosecuted.

The Grand Rapids Police Officers Association did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

“He’s on his hands and knees facing away from the officer. There are so many other things the officer could have done instead of pulling his gun out and shooting him in the back of the head,” Crump told ABC News.

After the release of the video, businesses in Grand Rapids closed early as a precaution on Wednesday. Demonstrators gathered across the city with many convening in front of City Hall throughout the night. There have been no reports of violence during the protests.

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