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Video released of Patrick Lyoya's brutal murder by Michigan police

By Liv Lashley

Grand Rapids march to demand justice for Patrick Lyoya.

Grand Rapids, MI – On Wednesday, April 13, the Grand Rapids Police Department released four videos of Patrick Lyoya’s murder at the hands of a GRPD officer, who they still refuse to name. Lyoya, a 26-year-old Black man, was a Congolese refugee, and a father to two daughters.

The videos show perspectives from the officer’s body cam, the dashcam of the police car, mobile phone video from a passenger in Lyoya’s vehicle, and security cameras from neighborhood residents. They all corroborate the Lyoya family's account of the killing, showing Lyoya face-down on the ground with the officer holding him down, ending with the officer shooting him in the back of the head execution-style.

The video also shows the officer attacking Lyoya unprovoked after he tried to walk around to the other side of the car, it appears so that the passenger can hand him his driver's license. At another point in the video, the officer appears to have Lyoya restrained, and proceeded to kick and beat him. At no point was Lyoya ever told he was being arrested, and the traffic stop was for a simple registration issue.

Patrick's father Peter Lyoya described his son's murder at a protest and vigil the previous week: “My son was killed like an animal. The way that the police assassinated my son, he was already laying on the floor, and he had his hands behind his back. I knew that to come to America, it was going to be safe, and there is no safety here. I thought I would give them a good life. Now he is gone, I have lost him.” The Lyoya family immigrated from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2014 to escape violence.

A protest demanding justice for Lyoya is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon at 5 p.m. His family demands that the killer cop be named, arrested, convicted and sent to prison. They also want Patrick's body released to the family so they can begin funeral arrangements. Additionally, protesters and activists have demanded that GRPD be defunded and that control of the police be given to a community-led board.

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