Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images
Protesters in Grand Rapids, Michigan, demanded justice for Patrick Lyoya, a migrant of African origin who was shot in the head by an officer in the middle of a traffic stop earlier this month.
Participants in the protest that started at Rosa Parks Circle and they went to the Grand Rapis police offices in the center of the city and asked that the officer involved be criminally prosecuted.
Lyoya was arrested on that date after officers followed him for a license plate or car license that did not match near the intersection of Nelson Avenue and Griggs Street.
Grand Rapids police this week released body camera footage of the officer and the patrol car. The recording shows the fatal confrontation in which the black man was hit while his back was turned.
In the images, recorded at about 8 am, it is seen when the refugee of Congolese origin gets out of his car as well as the officer and the latter asks him to return to the car.
The agent asks 26-year-old Lyoya for her driver’s license and proceeds to ask him if he speaks English.
An argument breaks out between the two for several seconds. The officer grabs Lyoya by the arm, and Lyoya struggles to free himself. Next, he sees the suspect as he runs around the car. The policeman chases him until he subdues him on the ground in the patio of a house.
The struggle continues to the point that the agent kicks the civilian.
Another person who was traveling in the car with Lyola gets out and observes what is happening, as does a neighbor from a nearby house. At one point, the passenger steps away from the vehicle as he raises his hands to his head.
In other body camera footage of the officer, he repeatedly yells “stop.”
“Your hands behind your back,” the policeman orders. The agent proceeds to use a “taser” or electric shock gun to try to control Lyoya.
Lyoya is again subdued by the agent on the ground before fatally shooting him.
The man accompanying the suspect also recorded part of the confrontation.
The name of the officer who shot Lyoya has not been released.And as of now, no charges have been filed against him. Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Windstrom said the white officer remains on paid administrative leave.
Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker said he is awaiting the results of an investigation by the Michigan State Police Department to determine if criminal charges will be filed against the officer.