Demand Justice for Patrick Lyoya and His Family
Join Patrick Lyoya's family and community in demanding justice and accountability for Patrick's death. Send a letter now!
Patrick Lyoya was 26 years old, a Congolese refugee and his family’s firstborn son. He is survived by his father, mother, five younger siblings, his partner, and two young daughters. In a recent interview, his father, with the help of a translator, describes him as “a good kid, a smart kid. He was a hard worker. He was a sharing person. He helped his family. If he had money, he would share it with them.” He loved soccer, and comments on his Facebook page say that Patrick was always “a positive person and represented his culture to the fullest,” teaching Congolese and African community dances to families and children.
Patrick came to the U.S. with his family from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to escape the violence there, only to be faced with over-policing of Black bodies and police violence here in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Trigger Warning for details of possible execution-style shooting:
Updated with new information on April 10, 2022: On a quiet cloudy Monday morning, April 4, 2022, at 8:00 am, Patrick Lyoya was already parked and looking at possible car trouble with his friend, near Nelson Ave and Griggs Street in Southeast Grand Rapids. A Grand Rapids police officer came alongside his car, and a few minutes later Patrick was shot and killed.
According to those who have seen the video, Patrick was facedown on the ground, with the officer's knee on his back, when he was shot three times in the back of the head.
Some reports say that the GRPD let his body lie on the ground for 9 minutes without lifesaving treatment. The friend who was with him recorded the murder on his cell phone, but his cell phone was confiscated by the same police. As of this writing, no body cam or dashboard cam footage has been released.
According to a study done by Lamberth Consulting in 2017, cars with Black inhabitants are twice as likely to be approached than other drivers by the Grand Rapids Police Department, traffic stops which have dire consequences such as impounded vehicles, incarceration, and death.
The family's demands (updated April 12):
Patrick did not deserve to die. Patrick’s family and friends are devastated, grieving, and heartbroken. They ask the public to join them in demanding the following:
- All body and dashboard camera footage needs to be publicly released immediately. This includes the officer who killed Patrick and any other officers who were on the scene of the murder.
- The city must release the name of the officer who shot and killed Patrick.
- The City of Grand Rapids, the Kent County Chief Medical Examiner, and GRPD must allow an external autopsy to be conducted.
- Translators must be present with any communication with Patrick’s family.