‘Justice for my son’: Patrick Lyoya’s parents speak for first time since fatal shooting footage released

Patrick Lyoya shot in back of head on April 4

Attorneys for the family of Patrick Lyoya are blasting Grand Rapids police and the officer who fatally shot him following the release of those videos Wednesday (April 13). Those comments came at a lengthy news conference Thursday afternoon in Grand Rapids.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.Patrick Lyoya, a 26-year-old Black man, was fatally shot in the back of the head by a Grand Rapids police officer on April 4.

The city’s new police chief, Eric Winstrom, released four videos on Wednesday (April 13), including footage of the shooting that was recorded by a passenger in Lyoya’s car.

WOOD reported that police had shown the footage to Lyoya’s family before releasing it to the public. Lyoya’s family and civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump were in Grand Rapids to address the footage of the fatal shooting.

Crump is a well-known attorney and has represented the family of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer and Taylor was shot and killed by police in Louisville.

“Why aren’t we condemning police officers here in the United States of America shooting unarmed Black civilians in the back of the head,” Crump said.

Patrick Lyoya’s parents spoke at the conference.

“By the time that I saw this video, my heart was really deeply broken. Right now I’m seeing that I have no life,” Patrick Lyoya’s father Peter Lyoya said.

His parents are natives of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“I’m surprised and astonished to see that my son has been killed with a bullet,” mother Dorcas Lyoya said.

Crump is calling for the arrest and prosecution of the officer. An investigation is being conducted by Michigan State Police. The officer involved has not been identified publicly and is on paid leave.

When Michigan State Police have concluded their investigation, it will be handed over to the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office. Prosecutors will determine if charges will be filed against the officer.

Patrick Lyoya, a 26-year-old Black man, was fatally shot in the back of the head by a Grand Rapids police officer on April 4.

About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.