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Patrick Lyoya's 'heartbroken' parents demand justice for son killed by GRPD police officer

Patrick Lyoya's parents, Peter and Dorcas Lyola and lawyer Ben Crump
Daniel Boothe
/
Daniel Boothe
Peter Lyoya, (middle) and Dorcas Lyoya (left) say they left the Democratic Republic of the Congo to pursue a '"safer" life in America--where their son Patrick Lyoya died at the hands of law enforcement.

Say shooting an 'execution' of their first-born son, as family lawyer Ben Crump vows to pursue indictments

A day after the City of Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids Police Department released videos of a police officer fatally shooting Patrick Lyoya, his parents addressed the media Thursday and said they were "heartbroken" over his death.

Both Peter and Dorcas Lyoya are immigrants from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and said they moved to the United States to provide a safer life for their children; only to watch videos of their first son be shot and killed by a Grand Rapids Police Officer following a traffic stop on April 4th.

Speaking through a Swahili interpreter, Dorcas could barely get the words out through her tears as she described her loss.

“I hear my heart, (and) I see my heart to be broken really," Lyoya said. "That was my first-born son, and you know how you love your first-born son.”

Younger brother Thomas Lyoya said he saw the video for the first time Wednesday—something he said, he will never forget.

“It was the most horrifying thing I have ever seen in my life,” Lyoya said.

Calling his son's death an "execution," Peter Lyoya demanded that the GRPD release the name of the officer responsible, however, Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom, who called the shooting a '"tragedy" said Wednesday he would not disclose the cop's identity unless charges are filed.

That will come down to the Michigan State Police, who are actively investigating the shooting, while the police officer involved is currently on administrative leave.

Family attorney Ben Crump said Thursday his legal team would be pursing indictments from the Kent County Prosecutor’s office in the near future.

But for right now, Crump said the family is focused on preparing funeral arrangements.

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