Family Demands Release Of Bodycam Footage After Black Man Killed By Police


Photo: GoFundMe

The family of Patrick Lyoya is demanding the release of police bodycam footage after the 26-year-old was shot dead during a traffic stop in Grand Rapids, Michigan last week.

On Saturday (April 9) hundreds of community members joined Lyoya's family to protest his killing and call on authorities for transparency. According to police, Lyoya was fatally shot on April 4 when officers pulled over a vehicle with license plates registered to a different vehicle, MLive.com reported. A scuffle reportedly ensued during the traffic stop and an unnamed white officer pulled out their weapon, fatally shooting Lyoya.

Days after the shooting, Lyoya's father, Peter Lyoya, said through interpreter Israel Siku that Michigan State Police showed them the police cruiser dashcam video, which they say shows Patrick was shot in the back of the head while he laid faced down on the ground.

"I could not watch that video twice," Siku said. "I cried."

Patrick Lyoya came to the United States seven years ago with his family after fleeing from violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the outlet reported. The 26-year-old leaves behind five siblings, two young daughters: a two-year-old and a three-month-old.

"They're not eating. They're not sleeping," Peter Lyoya said via Siku. "They question: where is our brother? They haven't even seen the body and they can't believe their brother has been killed."

Kent County Commissioner Robert Womack attended the somber march over the weekend, wiping away tears as members of Lyoya's family wailed, holding pictures of him as they walked through the southeastern part of the city.

Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom vowed to release the bodycam footage of the fatal shooting to the public on April 15.

"I don't want the video to be edited," Peter Lyoya said. "I want people to see the way my son was killed. I want the entire world to see how my son was executed."

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to cover funeral costs.

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