HomepageHomepage Showcase


NAACP says death of Patrick Lyoya ‘was just straight up murder’

NAACP calling for police accountability after GRPD releases video of deadly shooting of Lyoya
GRPD fenced in.jpg
NAACP presser 1.jpg
Posted at 12:38 AM, Apr 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-14 00:49:54-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — On Sunday, the NAACP of Greater Grand Rapids President Cle Jackson stood at the podium at Renaissance Church and looked over at city officials and said “We’re tired of talking. We’re tired of talking.”

He was standing near national civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who decided to take on the case. He then asked for full transparency and release of the videos of the officer-involved shooting that killed Patrick Lyoya.

Wednesday, he saw the video and was devastated, he said.

“Now we’re here today, a 26-year-old Black male — a brother, a father, a son — is dead and has lost his life, fleeing a country where he was trying to save his life,” said Jackson during a media briefing at their headquarters. ”So, as Martin Luther King said ‘Where do we go from here.'”

At City Hall on Wednesday afternoon, Chief Eric Winstrom and City Manager Mark Washington held a press conference where they released the videos of the officer fatally shooting Lyoya.

On Monday morning April 4, Lyoya, who is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was pulled over near the intersection of Nelson and Griggs. He attempted to run away, and a "lengthy struggle" ensued before the deadly shooting occurred, police said.

“He pulled out his firearm, drew it all the way across Patrick’s back and torso, and then put it ehind his head and shot him in the back of the head,” said NAACP legal consultant Carlton Mayers II, Esq. “It was unnecessary. It was lethal force and, in our opinion, it was just straight up murder.”

Mayers said the officer had opportunities to deescalate the situation. The video, which aired on the city of Grand Rapids YouTube channel, also revealed that a taser was deployed.

“There was no reason for using the taser,” Mayers said. “At the end of the day he had pepper spray on him. He had a baton. He has open-hand training for that kind of situation. Patrick was unarmed.”

The NAACP also stated that they have questions and concerns regarding the bodycam video.

“I would just say as an attorney that's fought against the police on a number of occasions, it's always coincidental when bodycam isn’t working,” said another lawyer present during the press conference. “You hear it working for a while and then it’s off. And, on this one I heard it working a little later.”

The NAACP said they’d ultimately like to see some criminal liability, and the officer be released from the department and de-certified. They also renewed calls to revisit the Three-Year Strategic Plan, which they drafted alongside the ACLU and other local organizations to prevent officer-involved shootings from happening and other related incidents.

Nevertheless, they’re devastated that it even happened at all, they said.

“It’s not if Eric Garner is going to happen here or George Floyd. It’s just when,” Jackson said. “And now we’re experiencing our when.”