Black Lives Matter protesters took to the streets in Grand Rapids, Michigan, after police released video on Wednesday of the shooting death of a black man during a struggle with an officer after a traffic stop.
Patrick Lyoya, 26, was pulled over on April 4 after a police officer saw that the license plate on his car did not match the automobile he was driving.
In video from the officer’s body camera, Lyoya tried to run away after the officer questions him and asked for his driver’s license. A struggle ensued where the officer used his stun gun and then shot the man. The Grand Rapids police department said that the officer’s body camera was deactivated during the struggle.
While the body camera footage did not record the moment of Lyoya’s shooting, the passenger of the car recorded it on their cellphone and that video was released as well.
The graphic video from the cellphone shows the officer trying to control the man and kneeing him in the back while yelling at him to let go of the stun gun. After a few moments the officer reaches for his gun and shoots once.
Activists were angered that Lyoya was shot from behind and in the back of the head, arguing that this proves the police officer acted inappropriately.
The officer involved has not been identified or charged in the shooting, pending an investigation. He is a seven-year veteran of the force.
Some businesses in the city braced for the protests by shutting down for the day and sending employees home.
Prosecutor Chris Becker cautioned the public against hasty conclusions based on the limited evidence that was released.
“While the videos released today are an important piece of evidence, they are not all of the evidence,” said Becker.
Lyoya was a native of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The county’s medical examiner said the autopsy of Lyoya had been completed but that the results of the toxicology tests had not yet been released.
Here’s a local news report about the protest:
Crowd of protesters gather, march toward GRPD following release of Patrick Lyoya video