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Lyoya remembered on billboard as fight for justice continues

A year after his death, a Grand Rapids group organized to put up a billboard advocating "Justice4Patrick"
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Posted at 10:49 PM, Apr 04, 2023

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Tuesday was gray and rainy, just like it was on this day last year, when a Grand Rapids police officer pulled over Patrick Lyoya. After a struggle over a taser, the police officer shot and killed Lyoya.

Since then, protests and other efforts have called for justice, while those who knew him keep his memory alive.

Lyoya remembered on billboard as fight for justice continues

"So the thing I need to say, I really need justice for my baby daddy. I really need justice for Patrick," said Nijimbazi Adelfine, the mother to Lyoya's one-year-old daughter, Patricia.

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Family of Lyoya

Patricia and her mother attended a candlelight vigil Tuesday evening near the intersection of Nelson Avenue and Griggs Street, the site where Lyoya died. He was 26 years old at the time.

"She's missing his daddy. She was, I remember when my baby daddy was holding her daughter," Adelfine added.

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Patrick's 1-year-old daughter, Patricia

Dozens of people came to the vigil, promising to keep working for justice.

"Patrick, every day we're going to bring up Patrick Patrick, Patrick Patrick. We want justice for Patrick. Period," said Eryaki Cage, who is the cousin of Breonna Taylor.

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Memorial for Patrick Lyoya near Griggs and Nelson

Now, about two miles away at Eastern Avenue and Sherman Street, a billboard is keeping Patrick's name in full view.

The billboard features the hashtag #Justice4Patrick. It's the work of donations by the "Grand Rapids' Village."'

While the billboard will stay up for just a month, organizers say they hope to raise more funds and keep their message on display for longer.

"What we do want to do is keep people's saying Patrick's name," Cage added.

Before the end of the day was a break in the weather. The sun was shining as people continued to share their one goal.

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Community members gather under a billboard that reads "Justice4Patrick"

Meanwhile, one of the attorneys for the Lyoya family is promising a "major update" in the case next week. The officer who killed Lyoya is charged with second-degree murder and is currently set to go to trial in October.

Click here for more coverage on the shooting death of Patrick Lyoya.

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