Detroit attorney unveils new evidence in civil lawsuit over shooting death of Patrick Lyoya

Peter Lyoya, expressed his family’s sadness

Detroit attorney Ven Johnson trotted out new evidence in his civil lawsuit involving the shooting death of Patrick Lyoya by a Grand Rapids police officer.

Johnson brought in police training experts in an attempt to bolster his case against the city of Grand Rapids, its police department, and former officer Christopher Shurr Monday (April 10).

Johnson and well-known civil rights attorney Ben Crump are determined to advance their case.

The City of Grand Rapids told the judge in the federal civil case they have governmental immunity and they can’t be sued.

Johnson and Crump disagree, and Monday told Local 4 about the evidence they’ve collected that they believe will sway the judge to send their case to a jury.

The shooting death of Lyoya last year came after a traffic stop.

Johnson and Crump spent an hour and a half painstakingly reviewing the available video, saying though Lyoya resisted arrest and his autopsy showed his blood alcohol level tested at three times the legal limit, the stop should never have happened at all.

“This is simply a case of driving while Black, and we don’t ever need to let that issue get swept under the rug because our experts are going to tell you there are so many reasons why this was unjustified,” said Crump.

Johnson and Crump hired two well-known police training experts who claimed Shurr did not follow his training and decimated Lyoya’s civil rights by shooting him in the back of the head.

Before that, the video showed that Shurr fired his taser twice at close range instead of backing up seven feet from the suspect.

“Had he followed his training, Patrick probably would have complied,” said Johnson. “If not, he’d been tased, fallen down, and the whole encounter over.”

Lyoya’s father, Peter Lyoya, expressed his family’s sadness.

“Patrick has been killed, and the officer, the man who murdered my son, is home with his wife and children, and Patrick is buried,” said Peter Lyoya. That hurt.”

About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.