GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Grand Rapids Police Department released several videos of the deadly police shooting of Patrick Lyoya during a news conference at 3 p.m. Wednesday.
Prior to the videos being shown, Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom says he will provide additional context to the footage, provide an update and explain the next steps in the investigative process.
The news conference is unfiltered and viewer discretion is advised.
Businesses in downtown Grand Rapids could be seen boarding up windows as a precaution ahead of the release of the video.
Businesses in downtown Grand Rapids taking precautionary steps to protect their shops ahead of the video release (3pm today) showing footage of a GRPD officer fatally shooting #PatrickLyoya last week Monday. Chief Winstrom says he doesn’t plan to release the officers name. @FOX17 pic.twitter.com/SAb8XeVbu5
— Savannah Fish (@Savannah__Fish) April 13, 2022
After the news conference, GRPD will provide a public link with video footage of the shooting from nine different sources.
"Because of the sensitive and graphic content of the video, the footage will stream as part of a presentation on the City’s YouTube channel with age restrictions in place. The video contains strong language as well as graphic images resulting in the loss of life. Viewer discretion is advised. Following the press conference, we will provide a public link with the nine source videos that was used to compile the presentation video," GRPD Chief Eric Winstrom said in a statement released Tuesday.
GRPD wanted to note that the video will be unedited, but some video images "may have been redacted/blurred to ensure privacy." No audio from the video will be edited.
City Manager Mark Washington told city commissioners last week there is footage from the officer's body camera, cruiser's dash camera, witness cell phone, and a ring doorbell.
Lyoya died Monday, April 4 following a traffic stop near the intersection of Griggs and Nelson on the city's southeast side. Lyoya was the driver of the vehicle. A passenger was also in the vehicle at the time.
Police say the driver exited the vehicle and tried to run away. After a short chase, a “lengthy struggle ensued” between the officer and the suspect. That’s when the officer shot the man, killing him. Lyoya's family has stated they believe it wasn't a traffic stop at all and that he was outside of the vehicle when the officer made contact.
The officer was taken to the hospital as a precaution but has been released.
GRPD says it's not clear why the officer initiated the traffic stop but the vehicle had a plate on it that did not belong to it.
Michigan State Police are handling the investigation, which is standard practice in cases like this.
GRPD says the officer has been with the department since 2015 and was working alone at the time of the shooting. Police Chief Eric Winstrom was asked on April 12 if the officer involved would be named during the Wednesday news conference. Windstrom said, "No."
Grand Rapids police say the officer was wearing a body camera. It fell off during the struggle, but GRPD says the camera was still on at the scene and activated.
Family of Lyoya has seen the dash camera and body camera video of the incident. They dispute the account of what happened. They say the video shows Lyoya being shot in the back of the head.
“To see that the police officer hold my son and kill him like an animal,” Peter Mashingo Lyoya, Patrick's father, said. “When he got my son he put him on the ground and his hand was behind his back. From that moment he took the gun and he shoot him in the back of the head.”
Israel Siku, the family's interpreter who also saw the video, corroborated his account.
26-year-old Patrick Lyoya leaves behind two children, a two-year-old and a three-month-old.
His family, who live in Lansing, are part of a tight-knit West Michigan Congolese community of 700.
"I would like to see him handicap than dead. They could shoot him in the leg. They can shoot him in the back, maybe they could give a chance to call his father, but shoot him on the back of the head? That is inexcusable. You cannot explain that.' To him, it is an execution-style. That is it," Patrick Lyoya's father said through an interpreter.
"He wants justice. He wants the officer to be arrested. His wants the officer to be persecuted. He wants the officer to be fired. He wants justice for his son," said Israel Siku, the family's interpreter.
The family has retained nationally-known attorney Ben Crump who spoke to a crowd in Grand Rapids on Sunday.
On the day of the killing, FOX 17 spoke to a witness of the incident who wished to remain anonymous.
"It was a wrestling match. If you were to watch a two-minute wrestling match. It just happened to be in my front yard," the witness said.
The witness says the police officer was on top of the man throughout most of the struggle.
“I was trying to deescalate the situation. I was telling him, stay down man. Just please stay down," said the witness.
The witness, a black man, says he feared for the man in the struggle. He also said he did not see the man with a weapon.
"I feel if he had a weapon on him, he would have used it. In that same breath, the police officer did five or six steps to try to deescalate the situation," the witness said.
The witness says the officer also tried to use non-lethal force.
“The taser was used. The taser didn’t work,” the witness said.
Saying in a matter of mere moments, he witnessed the worst thing he could ever imagine.
"It just went from two to ten. Then pop. I could tell the officer was shocked."
As the Grand Rapids community anticipates the release of videos showing the deadly shooting of Patrick Lyoya by a police officer, barriers and fencing is being put in place surrounding the police department.
"The barricades are a precaution," they told FOX 17. "In order for the police department to maintain the safety of the public throughout the city, the building, which also houses the Grand Rapids 911 dispatch center operations, must be secure."
City Manager Mark Washington released a statement about the precautionary measures Wednesday afternoon.
I am aware of planned marches and free speech activities in response to the recent officer involved shooting. These demonstrations are currently planned for the downtown area over the next several days into this weekend. I fully support our residents exercising their First Amendment rights. My staff – to include the Office of Special Events and our public safety agencies – is currently coordinating with the organizers to ensure they are able to do so in a safe and productive manner.
Due to the focus of the protest being on our police department, we have taken some precautionary measures around that facility to facilitate continued access and uninterrupted operations. This not only secures the facility but ensures we’re able to provide public safety continuity of service for the entire community. I understand these precautions may be alarming to some, I can assure you that we have no current indication of an imminent threat.
While those actions have been taken out of an abundance of caution, we do not currently anticipate any threats to people or property in the downtown area. Following this afternoon’s 3:00 p.m. video release, we will continue to prioritize the safety of our community and provide additional direction if necessary.
There have already been a number of demonstrations protesting the shooting of Lyoya. All have remained peaceful. There are more demonstrations planned this week.
You can watch the news conference live at 3 p.m. on FOX 17, fox17online.com, and on FOX 17 streaming apps.
How we got here:
Man shot, killed by officer during traffic stop in Grand Rapids
Man identified in Grand Rapids officer-involved shooting
Family demands answers, remembers life of man killed in GR officer-involved shooting
GRPD Chief on delaying release of video: this is not a cover-up
Kent County prosecutor: GRPD can share video of officer-involved shooting without his approval
‘I’m bleeding. I’m hurt:’ Father wants video of deadly officer-involved shooting released
Hundreds march against killing of Patrick Lyoya by a Grand Rapids police officer
Vigil for Patrick Lyoya, man who died after being shot by GR police officer
National and local leaders hold forum after Patrick Lyoya shot and killed by GR police officer
Civil Rights attorney Ben Crump calling for police video of Lyoya’s death to be released
Barricade goes up around Grand Rapids Police Headquarters
Group marches to Grand Rapids City Commission meeting
People demand answers at GR City Commission meeting following Lyoya death
Shooting death of Patrick Lyoya: a timeline of events