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Grand Rapids City Manager issues statement on protests and marches

Grand Rapids City Manager, Mark Washington has issued a statement about the Patrick Lyoya demonstrations in Downtown Grand Rapids.
Credit: City of Grand Rapids
Grand Rapids City Manager Mark Washington speaking at a press conference where they will show footage of the fatal shooting of Patrick Lyoya.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — After days of demonstrations in Downtown Grand Rapids over the death of Patrick Lyoya, the City Manager has issued a statement to the community.

Grand Rapids City Manager Mark Washington released the statement on Friday afternoon ahead of demonstrations planned for the weekend.

It has been nearly two weeks since the tragic officer involved shooting which resulted in the death of Patrick Lyoya. Many in our community – including myself – continue to grapple with what’s happened.  I continue to offer my condolences to the Lyoya family and I am committed to full transparency and to find ways to have trusted policing.  Each of us are processing in our own way as we navigate the range of emotions these events bring out. For some, that involves difficult private conversations with friends, family, and faith leaders. For others, it means engaging more publicly at City Commission meetings, community forums, and even demonstrating in the streets. All are valid ways of working through what our community is currently experiencing while we await the results of the Michigan State Police (MSP) investigation. I am hopeful MSP will expedite their investigation to help provide the community with further clarity around what happened.

Over the course of the last week there have been a number of protest and marches. I fully expect more in the coming days and – as always – we support our residents exercising their First Amendment Rights. We are aware of a number of special events happening throughout our city this weekend and City staff are making the necessary arrangements to ensure everyone – regardless of their reason for being in our community – will have a safe and positive experience.

Activists, community leaders, and the Lyoya family continue to call for calm and peace. The demonstrations that have occurred to this point have been peaceful and I have every expectation they will remain so. If you intend to make your way downtown this weekend, please give yourself a little extra time to account for potential detours or traffic delays. We will continue to monitor the situation throughout the weekend to prioritize community safety and provide updates and direction as needed.

– Mark Washington, Grand Rapids City Manager

As of Friday, there are two more demonstrations planned. On Friday, a demonstration is planned for 5 p.m. at Rosa Parks Circle and on Saturday, a demonstration is planned from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Rosa Parks Circle.

Justice for Patrick Lyoya demonstration from Thursday:

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