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The Grand Rapids Police Department on Wednesday released multiple videos of an officer shooting and killing a black man during a traffic stop last week after a brief struggle over the officer’s taser.
The release — which includes dashcam footage, bodycam footage, a neighbor’s doorbell camera and bystander videos — was released quickly for the sake of transparency, Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom said.
The officer, a white male who has not been identified, pulled over 26-year-old Patrick Lyoya on the morning of April 4 because his car’s license plates did not match the vehicle.
Lyoya, who is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, got out of the car before the officer could reach him. The officer asked for his driver’s license and told him to get back in the car, but Lyoya refused and ran away.
After a brief foot chase, the officer grabbed Lyoya and the two began fighting over the officer’s taser.
After about two minutes, the officer drew his pistol and shot Lyoya once in the head, killing him.
“From my perspective of the video, tasers were used twice. Taser made no contact,” Winstrom said at a news conference. “And Mr. Lyoya was shot in the head. That’s the only information I have, though.”
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Ben Crump, a prominent civil rights attorney, said the video “clearly shows this was an unnecessary, excessive and fatal use of force against an unarmed black man who was confused by the encounter and feared for his life.”
“We demand that the officer who killed Patrick not only be fired for his excessive and deadly use of force, but also be arrested and prosecuted for the violent killing of Patrick Lyoya,” Crump said in a statement.
Kent County Attorney Chris Becker, who will decide whether to file charges against the officer, asked for patience while he reviews all the evidence.
“This is an extremely critical incident that everyone involved in the investigation is taking very seriously,” Becker said. “As I said in a previous statement, I have one goal – the pursuit of truth – and I am committed to it.”
Hundreds of protesters gathered Wednesday night to protest the shooting at Grand Rapids Police Department headquarters.
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The officer, a 7-year veteran of the force, will not be identified unless prosecutors file charges. The officer has been placed on paid leave while the investigation is ongoing.