Patrick Lyoya Video: Grand Rapids Police Body Cam Released

patrick lyoya video

Police Patrick Lyoya Video screenshots

Patrick Lyoya was a Grand Rapids, Michigan, Congolese refugee whose shooting death at the hands of a police officer during a struggle is causing controversy.

The officer who shot Lyoya has been named by Grand Rapids police as Christopher Schurr.

The Grand Rapids, Michigan, Police Chief Eric Winstrom released a statement on April 8, 2022, saying, “Since this tragic event occurred on Monday morning and in the hours and days that followed, I have been consistent in my commitment to transparency. I have publicly stated my intention to release the video next week and I intend to keep that promise. I have also committed to protecting the integrity of the investigation in the interests of justice and accountability. I have informed the Michigan State Police and the Kent County prosecutor that I will release the video no later than noon on Friday, April 15.”

He followed that statement by releasing the body cam and other videos on April 13, 2022, which you can see below. But be forewarned that the videos are extremely graphic and disturbing. They show a struggle between the officer, a seven-year veteran of the force, and Lyoya after a traffic stop that culminates in the officer shooting Lyoya a single time at close range. Michigan State Police and prosecutors are still investigating the case and have not rendered conclusions. Protests have erupted over the death.

chris schurr

PoliceChris Schurr

Winstrom said in a news conference that he wasn’t naming the officer because the police department doesn’t release suspect’s names. He said the officer’s name will be released if he’s criminally charged. Winstrom said he could not yet say whether the officer acted in accordance with police policies because he, and his agency, are not running the investigation. The test is whether in the view of a reasonable police officer, deadly force was needed to prevent death or great bodily harm.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. The Graphic Videos Show the Officer Shooting Lyoya, Who Grabs the Officer’s Taser During the Struggle

Full video: Grand Rapids police release bodycam, dashcam footage of officer killing Patrick Lyoya📰 READ the latest stories following the Lyoya shooting: Grand Rapids police released bodycam, dashcam and video from the cell phone of the passenger in Patrick Lyoya's car that show the fatal shooting of Lyoya by a Grand Rapids police officer. Lyoya, 26, was killed after a traffic stop around 8:11 a.m. on Monday,…2022-04-14T00:04:16Z

The above video shows scenes from a police body cam video, dashcam video and citizen cell phone video.

First, a traffic stop ensues. The officer tells Lyoya to “Stay in the car. Get in the car” when he gets out of his car.

“Dude I’m stopping you. Do you have a license. Do you have a license?” the officer asks.

The officer tells Lyoya: “the plate doesn’t belong on this car. Do you have a license or no?”

He said his license was in the car. Lyoya then talks to someone else in the car. He walks away.

“No, no,” the officer says.

The officer tries to arrest Lyoya, but he writhes away and runs. After a short pursuit, the officer has Lyoya on the ground. More wrestling ensues.

“Stop, stop,” the officer says. He kicks Lyoya at one point to get him under control and tells him to get his hands behind his back. Lyoya continues to resist. At one point, the officer and Lyola stand up, and the officer is walking behind him. “Stop resisting,” the officer says.

They fall to the ground again. “Let go of the taser,” the officer says. “Let go of the taser,” he says again. You see the taser and Lyoya’s hand on it. “Let go of the taser,” the officer says yet again. A taser is known as an intermediate weapon and is not classified “per se” as a deadly weapon, said the chief. An intermediate weapon has the potential to cause death and great bodily harm, but not necessarily. It depends on “all of the facts of the case,” he said.

patrick lyoya

Police body cam videoPatrick Lyoya grabs an officer’s taser

Lyoya continues to struggle. At around this point, the body cam was deactivated. The police chief said that an officer has to hold a button steady for three seconds to turn the body cam video off. The camera was hit many times during the struggle. When it deactivated was the first moment it was held down for three seconds, according to the chief. “That’s what deactivated it,” the chief said. The chief believes the camera was turned off because of the pressure on his body not because the officer purposely deactivate it, but he said the investigation would look into that angle.

At the 4:16 mark in the above video, the officer fatally shoots Lyoya in what appears to be in the back of the head.

He then calls the shooting in, saying, “I was just involved in a shooting” and “he has my taser.”

2. Police Say the Shooting Started as a Traffic Stop & Foot Chase

Protesters react to video of fatal police shooting of Patrick Lyoya in Grand RapidsCONTAINS GRAPHIC LANGUAGE: Protesters in Grand Rapids are calling for justice after video footage was released in the fatal police shooting of Patrick Lyoya. Lyoya was shot and killed by a Grand Rapids police officer during a traffic stop on April 4, 2022. 📰 READ the latest stories following the Lyoya shooting:

In a news release dated April 4, 2022, the Grand Rapids Police Department, wrote:

At 8:11 this morning, an officer initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle near the intersection of Griggs and Nelson SE. The officer was working alone at the time of the stop. The vehicle pulled over and the driver, an adult male, exited the vehicle. After initial contact, the driver fled the scene on foot and the officer gave chase. A passenger remained in the vehicle. Following a brief foot pursuit, a physical altercation between the officer and the driver took place that lasted for several minutes. During that altercation, the officer fired his weapon, striking the individual who died as a result of his injuries. No information is being released on the victim at this time, pending family notification.

The officer was injured in the altercation but was examined on-scene did not require transport to the hospital. The officer joined the department in 2015. In accordance with policy, the officer has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigations.

“These types of incidents are tragic and traumatic for everyone involved,” said Grand Rapids City Manager Mark Washington in that initial release. “While it has been a very long time since our community was forced to navigate a situation such as this, we’ve done the work up front to establish policies and procedures that ensure a transparent and just process.”

The release continued:

Per GRPD’s policy, the Michigan State Police (MSP) investigates any officer-involved shootings. MSP was immediately notified and responded to the scene to begin the investigatory process.

Both body-worn and in-car camera footage were recovered and will be reviewed and preserved per department regulations. Video from private sources has been made available to MSP and GRPD. Eyewitness reports were taken by MSP. All camera footage will be reviewed as part of the investigation and made available as soon as possible following MSP’s processing of the video and any legally required processing is complete. There are legal and contractual considerations preventing the immediate release of video from an active investigation, but the Grand Rapids Police Department is committed to a transparent process and anticipates publicly providing the video next week.

At this time, the circumstances that led to the stop are not clear, but subsequent inspection confirms the vehicle has a license plate that is not registered to that vehicle.

“It is early in the investigation, so understandably, there are questions,” said GRPD Chief Eric Winstrom in that release. “I am committed to providing information as transparently and quickly as the investigation allows. In addition to MSP’s investigation, this has been referred to our Internal Affairs unit for a full review. We are also working with the City’s Office of Oversight and Public Accountability. In the coming days, I will be making efforts to reach out to the driver’s family, as well as the officer and his family as this was a traumatic event for everyone.”

“The loss of life is always tragic. I’m praying for our community, and for everyone impacted by this incident. I’m encouraged by the partnership that Chief Winstrom and GRPD have demonstrated. The role of my office to observe and audit the process to ensure it is fair, just, and thorough,” said Brandon Davis, Director of the Office of Oversight and Public Accountability. “Working together through this process will help increase the confidence in the community that this incident was handled transparently and appropriately.”

Once the Michigan State Police completes its investigation, MSP will provide the GRPD with an update and findings regarding this incident. Chief Winstrom and GRPD’s Internal Affairs Division will then review those findings and provide the Office of Oversight and Public Accountability with access to those records. In order to ensure increased accountability, OPA will audit the investigation and provide a report regarding this incident. Additionally, OPA will make recommendations regarding any necessary policy improvements that are brought to light as a result of this investigation and OPA’s audit.

“My prayers go out to everyone impacted by today’s incident. These situations are tragic and can be traumatizing. We have more questions than answers at this point but, we also have the systems in place to respond,” said Rosalynn Bliss, Grand Rapids Mayor. “I understand how emotional this is and recognize the frustrations many in our community might feel. I ask everyone in our community to respect the process and allow the investigators to do their work before reaching any conclusions.”

3. The Police Chief Described the Videos as ‘Sensitive’ & ‘Graphic’

Before releasing the videos, the Grand Rapids police chief, Eric Winstrom, issued a statement on the department’s Facebook page. It reads:

In keeping with my commitment to transparency and my stated intention to release the April 4 critical incident video by the end of this week, the Grand Rapids Police Department will issue several sources of video tomorrow afternoon, Wednesday, April 13.

Prior to the public release of the videos taken from the body worn camera, in-car camera, a cell phone and a home surveillance system, I will hold a press conference to provide additional context to the footage, provide an update and explain next steps in the investigative process.

Because of the sensitive and graphic content of the video, the footage will stream as part of tomorrow’s presentation on the City’s YouTube channel with age restrictions in place. The video contains strong language as well as graphic images resulting in the loss of life. Viewer discretion is advised. Following the press conference, we will provide a public link with the nine source videos that was used to compile the presentation video.

Please note that the videos are unedited, but some video images may have been redacted/blurred to ensure privacy. No audio has been edited.

The video release tomorrow will ensure that the integrity of the investigation, in the interests of justice and accountability, will be protected. The Michigan State Police and the Kent County prosecutor are aware of the intended release.

I thank the public for their patience and understanding while waiting for the release of the video. I intend to continue to be as forthright and transparent during the ongoing investigation which is under the control of the Michigan State Police.

4. Lyoya’s Family Described Their Hearts as Broken, Saying They Left Congo for a ‘Safe Haven’

Patrick Lyoya’s family members appeared at press conference alongside prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump. The names of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others were evoked at the beginning of the news conference.

The father Peter Lyoya said Patrick was his first-born son and described him as quiet. The family spoke in Swahili and their comments were translated.

“My life was Patrick, my son,” the emotional father said. “I saw the video and I was hoping Patrick would take my place and to see that my son was killed like an animal by a police officer. I see my heart being broken. I’m asking for justice.”

His mother, Dorcas Lyoya, also spoke at the news conference.

“He’s my first-born. I don’t know what to do. I can’t stop crying,” she said. “I thought my son would bury me. When we run away from war in Congo, I thought I came to a safe haven and now I’m thinking I’m surprised and astonished that it was here that my son was killed with a bullet.”

5. ‘We Are Determined to Get This Right,’ Pledged the City Manager

City Manager Mark Washington, speaking in a news conference, called it a sad day. He offered his condolences to the family. He said it was a difficult time for the members of the police department and officer. He said it was a “regrettable event.”

He said the video was “painful to watch.” He asked what caused this to happen? And what could have been done to prevent this from occurring. Washington said he would continue to ask those questions. “We are determined to get this right,” Washington said.

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