GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — At a protest held on Saturday, April 16, after the shooting death of Patrick Lyoya, a video captured by a protest observer has gotten more than one million views on TikTok.
“I just couldn’t believe it when I heard him cock the gun and started yelling about shooting the guy and his dog ... I go, 'Whoa,'” observer Adam Gross said.
Adam Gross captured the video. He says largely, the event was peaceful. Still, he says this type of incident is how things escalate.
“It’s harmful behavior. It’s dangerous,” Gross said.
In the video, you can see a man ready his weapon and threaten to shoot a barking dog in a vehicle.
The Grand Rapids Royal Black Panther Party Chapter says it is not someone within their chapter from the organization. The protester recorded was from the Fort Wayne chapter.
The Royal Black Panther Party issued FOX 17 the following statement:
“Once our leadership were made aware of this incident we immediately discussed this video with the leadership of the Fort Wayne chapter and have been made aware that the person in the vehicle made threats to run over protest attendees and also began to shout racial slurs.”
Still, the organization says the demonstrator faced disciplinary action. The Royal Black Panther Party of Grand Rapids reiterates its commitment to keeping protests peaceful, something the Lyoya family has repeatedly requested.
“Despite all of that information disciplinary actions have been taken against the member involved to assure that this will never happen again. We want to assure the public that this incident does not at all align with our values as the Royal Black Panther Party and we want to continue to bring safety and comfort to our community.”
Gross says he has spoken with detectives about the video he captured. He says this behavior is harmful to everyone. Gross says he supports free speech and people expressing themselves, and he supports people's right to open carry weapons at protests, but this is a whole other level.
“It just worries me more, that something like this could get out of hand quickly like that,” Gross said.