Hundreds gather in Lansing to demand justice for Patrick Lyoya
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - More than a hundred protesters joined the family of Patrick Lyoya for a march Thursday to the Michigan Capitol Building.
The march comes about three weeks after a Grand Rapids police officer killed the 26-year-old man during a traffic stop.
Police said he was shot as the two struggled over the officer’s electroshock weapon. The family’s attorney called it an execution.
The march started at St. Luke Lutheran Church, near the intersection of Michigan and Pennsylvania avenues, and ended at the Michigan State Capitol Building.
Black Lives Matter Michigan organized the peaceful demonstration, which had a list of demands for the Grand Rapids Police Department. They want the identity of the officer who killed Lyoya to be released, they want the officer arrested and have him face a criminal trial.
The Grand Rapids Police Department said they will not go public with the officer’s name unless the Kent County prosecutor decides to file charges.
The march ended at the steps of the state capitol, where a rally was held. Speakers included a Kent County commissioner and members of Lyoya’s family.
“Patrick was a very peaceful man,” Peter Lyoya said of his son.
Speaking through a translator, Peter Lyoya spoke about the character of his son.
“As a father, I knew Patrick. He was a very quiet boy, he was very respectful,” Peter Lyoya recalled. “He didn’t have a problem with anybody.
Kent County commissioner Robert S. Womack said many people might not understand the struggles of people of color living in urban areas and what they go through.
“A lot of times when a person is killed in a Black community, we have people that don’t live in that community looking at it,” Womack said. “And to them -- if you’ve never lived in an urban area, they’re at home like, ‘I’m scared, I would have done the same thing.’ But we face challenges everyday living in such a populous place. But, we’re not allowed to shoot and kill people.”
Womack said he’s glad the case has garnered national attention and he hopes people in power will take notice and listen to those they serve.
“Justice for me would be to see the officer at least be charged and the officer and the family have their day in court,” Womack said.
Michigan State Police are investigating the fatal shooting. They will send a report to the Kent County prosecutor, who will decide if the officer gets charged.
Lyoya’s funeral will take place Friday at 11 a.m. at the Renaissance Church of God in Christ in Grand Rapids.
Copyright 2022 WILX. All rights reserved.
Subscribe to our News 10 newsletter and receive the latest local news and weather straight to your email every morning.