Protests Erupt After Video Released Showing Fatal US Police Shooting of Black Man


Protests Erupt After Video Released Showing Fatal US Police Shooting of Black Man

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Police video has been released of a white officer fatally shooting a black man in the back of the head after a scuffle over a stun gun in the US state of Michigan.

Footage of the April 4 incident in Grand Rapids, Michigan, shows Patrick Lyoya, 26, running from the officer following a traffic stop.

Hundreds marched through the city's downtown Wednesday evening, hours after the local police department released footage of an officer fatally shooting Patrick Lyoya, a 26-year-old Congolese refugee, during a traffic stop April 4.

 

Demonstrators in Grand Rapids had a message for police during a march Wednesday: Enough is enough, and accountability is needed now.

For many who marched, Lyoya's death was a sign that the police reform and accountability pledged in 2020 in the wake of the murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis has been inconsequential.

Speakers at the event called for police accountability in the wake of Lyoya's death.

The name of the officer who shot Lyoya has not been released, and no charges have been issued. GRPD chief Eric Windstrom said the officer, who is white, has been placed on paid administrative leave.

After speakers addressed the crowd, they later marched around the station, circling a few blocks, including down a street named after Breonna Taylor.

They held up signs that read: “Silence is violence” and “No justice, no peace.”

The protest appeared to be peaceful. Some businesses across the street had wooden boards placed in anticipation of potential violence, but as of 8:30 pm, none was apparent.

Lyoya was pulled over for a non-matching license plate near the intersection of Nelson Avenue and Griggs Street on April 4, according to police.

In the video police released of the incident, Lyoya gets out of the car, and the officer gets out and tells him to get back in the car. The officer asks for his driver's license and then proceeds to ask whether Lyoya speaks English due to a possible language barrier.

Lyoya then appears to run around the car, and the officer chases and tackles him to the ground on the front lawn of a house.

They struggle, and the officer can be heard telling Lyoya to "stop" and to "let go of the Taser."

After about 90 seconds, the officer is lying on top of Lyoya, who is facedown on the ground, still yelling for him to "let go of the Taser," and proceeds to shoot him.

Charges have not been filed against the officer. Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker said his office is waiting for the Michigan State Police investigation of the shooting to conclude before deciding whether to file charges.

A news conference with Lyoya's family is set for 1:30 p.m. Thursday at a local church.

Massive protests have been held across the country following the killings of African-American men, George Floyd and Daunte Wright, by white police officers in 2020.

Floyd’s death in May 2020 sparked angry protests across the US and across the world.

The protests evolved into a nationwide battle between progressives and far-right groups after former president Donald Trump took a hard-line stance against the anti-racism protests.