A Michigan police officer fatally shot 26-year-old Patrick Lyoya in the head in Grand Rapids. Video released on Wednesday shows a brief foot chase and struggle over the officer’s Taser before fatally shooting the Black man.
Warning: Graphic content.
The family of Lyoya is expressing shock that their son was killed in the United States in a press conference on Thursday as they called for the officer to face prosecution.
The Lyoya family came to the U.S. from Congo in 2014 to escape violence, according to The Washington Post.
“We were in an area that was not safe, there was a war,” Dorcas Lyoya, Patrick’s mother, said Thursday. “And I thought I had come to a safe land, safe place.”
“I’m surprised and astonished to see that it’s here that my son has been killed with a bullet,” Dorcas Lyoya said. “That was my beloved son.”
Body camera footage of the fatal encounter shows a close-up view of an intense struggle, but the video goes dark 42 seconds before the officer shoots Patrick.
Watch the encounter below, if you’re unable to view the video, follow this link.
Warning: ****Graphic Content****
One expert said vendors could make changes to avoid accidental camera deactivations, though it’s not clear that is what happened in Lyoya’s case, and some activists said an accident seems unlikely. Regardless, Lyoya’s family and their attorneys say it shows the importance of citizen video. The shooting was captured by Lyoya’s passenger, with a cellphone, and a doorbell camera across the street.
“Keep videoing the police because transparency is important for them and it’s sure important for us,” said Ben Crump, an attorney for Lyoya’s family.