GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — African immigrants and refugees came together during a luncheon on Sunday to ask questions and express their feelings over the shooting death of Patrick Lyoya. Lyoya’s family, along with Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom and Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, were also in attendance.
Many people from the African and refugee community expressed frustration over having to wait eight days for the release of the video showing Lyoya being shot by Grand Rapids Police Officer Christopher Shurr. “This was my first police involved shooting in Grand Rapids. It was a learning experience, and I did what I thought I could do as soon as possible,” said Winstrom. He also said that in the future, he will work on getting the information out as soon as possible.
According to Mayor Bliss and City Manager Mark Washington, more policies and procedures will be put in place, which includes training for and interacting with immigrant and refugee communities. The goal for the policies and procedures is to have long lasting solutions. Committees are also being formed to address other concerns within Grand Rapids.