Apr 14, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Videos show Michigan police officer fatally shooting Black man

Grand Rapids City Manager Mark Washington, Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom and Brandy Davis stand at a press conference.

Grand Rapids Police chief Eric Winstrom at a press conference on April 13. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Officials in Grand Rapids, Michigan, released videos on Wednesday showing a white police officer shooting and killing Patrick Lyoya, a Black man, after a traffic stop on April 4.

Driving the news: The newly released videos show the unidentified Michigan police officer lying on the back of Lyoya, 26, before he fatally shot him in the head. The videos show the police officer and Lyoya wrestling on the ground in the moments before the shooting, appearing to be fighting for control of the officer's Taser.

  • "I view it as a tragedy. ... It was a progression of sadness for me," Eric Winstrom, chief of the Grand Rapids Police Department, said Wednesday, AP reports.
  • "From my view of the video, Taser was deployed twice. Taser did not make contact," Winstrom said. "And Mr. Lyoya was shot in the head. However, that's the only information that I have."
  • The videos show Lyoya running from the officer, who said he pulled Lyoya over because his license plate did not match his vehicle.
  • They then struggled in front of several homes and fought over the Taser for about 90 seconds, Winstrom said.
  • Winstrom said the officer's body camera was deactivated before the shooting when pressure was applied to a button but added that the camera may have been turned off unintentionally during the struggle.

The big picture: An investigation into the officer's actions remains ongoing, the New York Times reports.

  • Lyoya had lived in Grand Rapids for about five years after immigrating to the U.S. from the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2014, per the Times.
  • He had two young daughters and five siblings, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) said, per AP.
  • "He arrived in the United States as a refugee with his family fleeing violence. He had his whole life ahead of him," Whitmer said.

Go deeper: WashPost: 2021 a record year for fatal police killings

Editor's note: This article has been corrected to reflect that Patrick Lyoya immigrated to the U.S. in 2014 (not 2015).

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