Video: Grand Rapids Cop on Black Man’s Back, Fatally Shot Him

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan police officer struggled with a Black man before fatally shooting him from behind while the motorist was on the ground, according to videos of the April 4 shooting released Wednesday.

Police in Grand Rapids, Michigan, released four videos, including cellphone footage showing the shooting of Patrick Lyoya after a traffic stop that was recorded by a passenger in Lyoya’s car.

Video shows Lyoya, 26, running from the scene after an officer stopped him for a license plate violation. They struggled on the front lawn of a few homes in a Grand Rapids neighborhood.

Before the videos were released, City Manager Mark Washington warned they would lead to public “expressions of shock, of anger and of pain.”

More than 100 people marched to Grand Rapids City Hall before a City Commission meeting Tuesday night, chanting “Black lives matter” and “No justice, no peace.”

“The video contains strong language as well as graphic images resulting in the loss of life. Viewer discretion is advised,” said Police Chief Eric Winstrom.

Winstrom last week said he met Lyoya’s father, Peter Lyoya, and that they both cried.

“I get it as a father. … It’s just heart-wrenching,” the chief told WOOD-TV.

Kent County’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Stephen Cohle, said he completed the autopsy on the day of Lyoya’s death, but that toxicology results haven’t been completed. He said the full report would not be released until state police complete an investigation.

“This is the standard operating procedure,” Cohle said.

As in many U.S. cities, Grand Rapids police have been occasionally criticized over the use of force, particularly against Black people, who make up 18% of the population.

In November, the Michigan Supreme Court heard arguments in a lawsuit over the practice of photographing and fingerprinting people who were never charged with a crime. Grand Rapids said the policy changed in 2015.

A downtown street has been designated Breonna Taylor Way, named for the Black woman and Grand Rapids native who was killed by police in Louisville, Kentucky, during a botched drug raid in 2020.