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Detroit-area attorney joins Lyoya family legal team

Ven Johnson is partnering with Ben Crump to represent Patrick Lyoya's family.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Another lawyer is joining the Lyoya family's legal team. Detroit-area defense attorney Ven Johnson is partnering with nationally-known civil rights attorney Ben Crump to represent the family.  

Johnson represented a man after the May 2020 riots who sued Grand Rapids police for excessive force after he was hit by a gas cannister. 

After watching video of the shooting death of Patrick Lyoya, Johnson says the officer engaged in criminal conduct against his client. 

"There's a case called in Tennessee versus Garner. It's a case from back, I think, in the 1960s United States Supreme Court. It says you can't shoot a guy, and it happens to be a guy, in the back because he's trying to escape you. And that's exactly what's happening here," he says. 

"So, under the federal precedent and state precedent, this officer absolutely, absolutely screwed up. He absolutely committed a homicide as it pertains to our client, and he needs to be held responsible criminally and civilly."

Thursday afternoon, Johnson, Crump and the family are holding a news conference in Grand Rapids at 1:30 p.m. 

"This family, I can't even imagine the pain that they're feeling. Much like I can't imagine the pain of any of the young folks that we've seen that have been absolutely killed by police officers unnecessarily in our country. So, tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 p.m. in Grand Rapids, Mr. Crump, the family and I will be happy to address more of their feelings directly," he says. 

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