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Kent County Prosecuting Attorney awaiting all evidence in shooting death of Patrick Lyoya

Mariano Avila
Chris Becker, Kent County Prosecuting Attorney

While multiple videos released by the Grand Rapids Police Department are important pieces of evidence involving an officer shooting an unarmed black man, the Kent County Prosecuting Attorney cautions all evidence must be collected before charges can be filed.

Multiple videos; dashboard cam, officer body camera and residential security surveillance videos mesh the events of April 4th when a Grand Rapids police officer makes a traffic stop involving Patrick Lyoya. The car and license plate don’t match. The 26-year Congolese man is resistant and runs. There’s a pursuit and an altercation – a struggle over the officer’s taser. Finally, a fatal shot is fired. While the videos depict events, no charges have been filed, the officer involved remains anonymous.

Kent County Prosecuting Attorney, Christopher Becker, issued a statement following the videos release explaining he can’t review the case until all the evidence is gathered. Partial evidence is not enough.

Currently, Michigan State Police is conducting the investigation. Once all evidence is collected and turned over, Becker will begin a thorough review. Elements include all witness statements and reports from the scene including radio traffic. Also, additional video if available.

The prosecuting attorney makes the process clear, “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.”

A cause of death has been prepared by the Kent County Medical Examiner following an autopsy. Toxicology and tissue results are pending. It can take up to 60 days. There’s a request to expedite. Those results won’t be made public until MSP concludes its investigation.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.