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Footage shows Michigan officer shooting man in the back of the head

Patrick Lyoya.png
Posted at 1:40 PM, Apr 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-13 17:09:03-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Video footage released by the Grand Rapids (Michigan) Police Department shows an officer shooting Patrick Lyoya in the back of the head following a struggle.

GRPD released video footage from multiple sources showing what happened last Monday when an officer fatally shot Lyoya during what the department said started as a traffic stop.

Cellphone footage from a witness shows the officer shooting Lyoya in the back of the head after telling him to let go of the taser.

GRPD said the deadly shooting happened on Monday, April 4, after what police described as a “lengthy struggle.”

Dashcam footage shows the officer walking up to Lyoya and telling him to stay in the car. The two appear to talk for a few minutes before Lyoya starts to walk away. The officer grabs his wrist and Lyoya pulls his arm and tries to run. The officer tackles Lyoya and a struggle ensues. Lyoya and the officer move out of the view of the camera before the shooting hapens.

Video captured by a neighbor’s security camera shows the entire encounter between Lyoya and the officer.

In the bodycam video, you can hear the officer ask Lyoya if he has a license. Lyoya told the officer he did and that it was in the car. Bodycam footage shows the officer using a taser on Lyoya. Lyoya appears to grab the taser and the officer tells him to let go of it. The bodycam footage also does not show the deadly shooting.

Body camera video of Patrick Lyoya shooting

GRPD Chief Eric Winstrom says the officer will not be named at this time.

After the release of the videos, the Kent County prosecutor released the following statement:

As I have said in a previous statement, I have one goal – the pursuit of truth – and I am committed to that. We must follow legal and ethical guidelines to ensure the integrity of this process. We cannot do anything until the investigation is complete, and we have all the information we need to make an informed decision. This will take time and I once again ask for the community’s patience.

Following the Grand Rapids Police Department’s release of video related to the April 4 officer-involved shooting of Mr. Patrick Lyoya, I once again ask the community for patience in this matter. The Michigan State Police independent investigation into the incident is not complete. This is an extremely critical incident, and one that everyone involved in the investigation is taking very seriously. The Michigan State Police are doing everything they can to complete the investigation in a timely manner, however it takes time to carefully gather the evidence. We do not have all of the evidence for review. I don’t have an opportunity to review a case until I have all the evidence.

To provide context, the Kent County Sheriff’s Department is investigating an incident from March 31, 2022, where a homeowner reportedly shot and killed an intruder. That incident occurred days before this one, yet we have not received the reports from that investigation. I offer this incident to demonstrate, a thorough investigations take time, we are asking that the appropriate time be given here.

It is important to note, while the videos released today are an important piece of evidence, they are not all of the evidence. Our office has never made, and will not make, a decision based on partial evidence. By law, we are required to review all available evidence before we consider whether charges should be filed, and if so, what appropriate charges should be. This careful consideration of all evidence is a very important step in our criminal justice system.

Once the Michigan State Police turn over the evidence to our office, we will begin a thorough review. That process will include review of all witness statements and all video that pertains to this incident, including body-worn camera video, in-car video, and any home video that may be available. In addition, as in any case involving a death, we will review the autopsy and toxicology reports, radio traffic, and reports from the crime scene.

Lyoya’s family has disputed the police's account. Lyoya's family stated they believe it wasn't a traffic stop at all and that he was outside of the vehicle when the officer made contact. The family of Lyoya saw the dash camera and bodycamera video of the incident prior to the public release and has stated it shows him being shot in the back of the head.

“To see that the police officer hold my son and kill him like an animal,” Peter Mashingo Lyoya, his father, said. “When he got my son he put him on the ground and his hand was behind his back. From that moment he took the gun and he shoot him in the back of the head.”

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump called for video footage of Lyoya’s death to be released at a rally in Grand Rapids over the weekend.

Crump has represented the families of George Floyd, Jacob Blake and Grand Rapids native Breonna Taylor.

Lyoya, 26, leaves behind two children, a 2-year-old and a 3-month-old.

There have already been a number of demonstrations protesting the shooting of Lyoya. All have remained peaceful. There are more demonstrations planned this week.

Here's a timeline of events related to the shooting death of Patrick Lyoya:

How we got here:
Man shot, killed by officer during traffic stop in Grand Rapids
Man identified in Grand Rapids officer-involved shooting
Family demands answers, remembers life of man killed in GR officer-involved shooting
GRPD Chief on delaying release of video: this is not a cover-up
Kent County prosecutor: GRPD can share video of officer-involved shooting without his approval
‘I’m bleeding. I’m hurt:’ Father wants video of deadly officer-involved shooting released
Hundreds march against killing of Patrick Lyoya by a Grand Rapids police officer
Vigil for Patrick Lyoya, man who died after being shot by GR police officer
National and local leaders hold forum after Patrick Lyoya shot and killed by GR police officer
Civil Rights attorney Ben Crump calling for police video of Lyoya’s death to be released
Officer who killed Patrick Lyoya has not been interviewed 1 week after shooting
GR Mayor speaks after death of Patrick Lyoya, asks community to trust the process
Group plans to march to Grand Rapids City Commission meeting following shooting death of Patrick Lyoya
Multiple videos of deadly officer-involved shooting to be released
Barricade goes up outside Grand Rapids Police headquarters
Group marches to Grand Rapids City Commission meeting
People demand answers at GR City Commission meeting following Lyoya death
What we know ahead of GRPD 3 p.m. video release of Patrick Lyoya killing by officer
Kent County medical examiner releases statement regarding Patrick Lyoya's autopsy

This article was written by Karie Herringa for WXMI.