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MSP has not yet talked with Grand Rapids Police officer who shot, killed man

The Grand Rapids Police Chief said footage of the altercation would be released to the public by noon Friday.
Credit: Tatiyana Walker

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The lead law enforcement agency investigating the fatal shooting death of 26-year-old Patrick Lyoya at the hands of a Grand Rapids Police officer says they have not yet interviewed the officer about what happened. 

Michelle Robinson, Public Information Officer with the MSP, said the Grand Rapids Police Officer who pulled the trigger has not been interviewed yet. The officer has not been publically identified.

Robinson would not indicate why but did say MSP is hoping to hand over the case to the prosecutor's office by the end of the week.  

The incident happened Monday, April 4 just after 8 a.m. near the intersection of Griggs Street and Nelson Avenue SE. in Grand Rapids.  

Authorities said a GRPD officer initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle with a faulty license plate. Lyoya, who was driving the vehicle, fled from police on foot.  

After a physical struggle with the officer, Lyoya was shot and killed. 

Lyoya's family disputes these claims, saying that Lyoya's car had broken down in the street. He had stepped out of the car to see what the problem was when a GRPD officer arrived.  

His family says he and the officer argued, then the officer got ahold of him and put him on the ground. The officer then shot Lyoya in the back of the head, the family says. 

Credit: Provided
Patrick Lyoya, 26, was shot and killed by a Grand Rapids Police officer on Monday, April 4.

The family retained renowned civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump over the weekend and held a community forum. 

His office issued this statement on Monday, April 11:  

“The Lyoya family came to our country in pursuit of the American dream, but instead are now living a traumatic American nightmare as they have to bury their loved one due to police brutality. We are once again reminded of how swiftly a police interaction can turn deadly for Black men in America and just how far we have to go to change that. 

“From what Patrick’s father has expressed after viewing the body camera footage, we believe that the release of the footage will show the true and raw narrative of how Patrick lost his life to police. We will continue to push for the public release of the footage from this incident and full transparency from Michigan State Police as they continue to investigate this tragic incident.” 

Crump is an attorney who specializes in civil rights cases and has represented the families of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. 

Days after the incident, Kent County Prosecuting Attorney Christopher Becker indicated his office will not be releasing any evidence related to the shooting. He asked involved police agencies to do the same. 

Becker said doing so will help “maintain the integrity of this investigation.”  

Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom, who is in his second month on the job, made a vow to make the video available no later than noon on Friday, April 15.   

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