Crump says GRPD officer had "no reason to be in imminent fear" when he shot Lyoya
"This is, as his mother and father have said, an execution, and there is no way to try to spin it or justify it," Crump said.
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump has represented families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tamir Rice and a myriad of others in the fight against police brutality. He now set his sights on justice for the family of Patrick Lyoya, a 26-year-old Black man who was fatally shot in the head by a White Grand Rapids police officer during a traffic stop.
In a press conference Thursday, Crump addresses video footage from the killing that was released by the Grand Rapids Police Department on Wednesday. The video shows a taser deployed twice by the officer and Lyoya putting his hand on it during a scuffle, before being fatally shot in the back of the head. Lyoya was face-down on the ground with the other officer on his back.
"This is, as his mother and father have said, an execution, and there is no way to try to spin it or justify it," Crump said. "...We see no instance of intimate force of fear on Patrick's part to justify him [the officer] reaching for his service revolver, taking it and putting it to the back of Patrick's head and pulling the trigger, blowing his head off."
During a separate press conference on Wednesday, GRPD Chief Eric Winstrom classified a taser as an “intermediate weapon” saying it could potentially cause death or great bodily harm in the case of a subject using it against an officer. However, on Thursday, Crump said the taser in question was rendered useless after its two fires.
“That model of taser only allows you to fire twice, and this is important unless you have another cartridge to put in the taser... it is ineffective," he said.
Along with Lyoya’s family, Crump welcomed in Tamika Palmer, the mother of Breonna Taylor for support. Taylor was killed by Louisville police in 2020 during a botched raid. Both Palmer and Lyoya’s parents lost their children to police at the age of 26.