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GRPD releases footage of officer involved shooting

City Manager Mark Washington addresses media during Wednesday press conference
Daniel Boothe
City Manager Mark Washington addresses media during Wednesday press conference

Cell phone video shows police officer shooting 26-year-old Patrick Lyoya in head during struggle.

During a Wednesday press conference afternoon, the Grand Rapids Police Department released multiple videos of a police officer involved in the fatal shooting of a black man.

The video footage came from the officer’s body worn camera, the patrol cruiser’s dashcam, home surveillance video and a cell phone recording. The videos all show Patrick Lyoya getting pulled over by a Grand Rapids Police Officer in the morning hours of Monday April 4th for a license plate infraction.

The footage shows Lyoya exiting his car and asking what he had done wrong, while the police officer asks him for his driver’s license. When the 26-year-old Congolese man cannot produce an ID, the officer attempts to make an arrest.

As Lyoya begins to walk away, a struggle ensues.

Moments later, the video shows the officer laying on Lyoya’s back as the two struggle over the officer’s Taser. During the struggle, the officer uses one hand to reach for his firearm before fatally shooting Lyoya in the back of the head.

During a press conference Wednesday, Grand Rapids City Manager Mark Washington called it a “sad day for the city, state and country.”

“Unfortunately, I am here today because our city is now added to the list of cities across the country where another African-American man has died as a result of lethal force with the interaction of law enforcement,” Washington said.

Meanwhile Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom said that while the Michigan State Police Department is in charge of the investigation, he defended GRPD’s decision to not release the name of the police officer involved.

“I am going to treat the officer like I would anyone else,” Winstrom said. “We don’t name suspects. And if the officer is charged, we will name him at that time, but the short answer is no, I will not be naming him at this time.”

During the news conference Chief Winstrom called on the Michigan State Police to be swift in its investigation, but would not speculate as to the outcome.

Washington said Wednesday the city is preparing for a number of protests over the next several days in response to the videos.

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