Calls for justice continue for Patrick Lyoya, one year later
During the one-year anniversary of Lyoya's death, community members debuted a billboard at the corner of Eastern and Sherman street southeast, reminding others that their fight for justice isn't over.
It’s been one year since 26-year-old Patrick Lyoya was shot and killed by a Grand Rapids Police Officer during a traffic stop. As activists reignite cries for justice, they said it’s also a time for remembrance and grief.
Dozens of community members lined the streets on Grand Rapids’ southeast side on Tuesday evening, honoring Lyoya with a billboard on the corner of Eastern Avenue and Sherman Street. The board features photos of the 26-year-old with “Justice 4 Patrick” written across it. Organizers told WGVU it was paid for by the Grand Rapids “village,” pointing to community donations.
The event was held by Comrades Collective and also featured a caravan to and vigil at the corner of Nelson Street and Griggs street, where Lyoya was killed.
On April 4th last year, Lyoya was pulled over by former Grand Rapids Police Officer Christopher Schurr, and the traffic stop escalated. Lyoya tried to flee, and the two wrestled on the ground, scuffling over the officer’s taser. Schurr fatally shot Lyoya in the back of the head and is currently facing a second-degree murder charge.
During the vigil, attendees were given candles and were welcome to speak. Many speakers spoke about Lyoya's family members, who are still coping with the loss.
“He was someone’s loved one someone’s brother, someone’s daddy. Remember that,” attendee Erykai Cage said.
Nijimbazi Adelfine, the mother of Lyoya’s one year and three-month-old child, said she’s grateful for community support.
“I’m feeling happy because it shows me something like love, and something I can say — I just need to thank everyone I see over there, because they just come to hold me,” she said.
Schur’s criminal trial is set to begin this October. His defense team had previously filed a motion to dismiss, but it was overruled. His defense team is currently appealing the ruling.