Videos of the fatal police shooting of Patrick Lyoya, a black man who was arrested for a traffic stop, were released on Wednesday. Lyoya, 26, was fatally shot on April 4 by a police officer in Grand Rapids, Michigan, after a fight in which the two men appeared to be arguing over the officer’s Taser.
Videos released by the Grand Rapids Police Department included the officer’s body-worn camera, the officer’s car dash cam, surveillance video from a house on the other side of the street and cellphone video captured by a passenger in the car.
The moments just before the shooting are hard to discern, as the body-worn camera has been disabled, the surveillance video is a considerable distance away, and the cellphone is often pointed at the ground instead of the officer and Lyoya. . However, both men appeared to struggle with the officer’s Taser at times in the videos.
In the videos, the officer, who is white, stops Lyoya for driving with mismatched plates. Lyoya gets out of her car and the officer, who has not been identified, immediately tells her to stay in the car. Lyoya stays outside the car and closes the door. The officer asks several times if Lyoya speaks English and his license. Lyoya tells him that the license is in the car. The officer then orders Lyoya to get it.
Lyoya then appears to ask a passenger to get the permit, but the passenger seems to have no idea where he is. As Lyoya tries to walk to the passenger side of the car, the officer tells her to stop and grabs her. After a short struggle, Lyoya manages to break free and a foot chase ensues. The officer tackles Lyoya on a nearby lawn and the two struggle on the ground for a long time as the officer repeatedly tells Lyoya to stop. The officer appears to briefly overpower Lyoya and the two stand up, however, the fight then continues.
At one point, although it’s unclear exactly when due to the proximity of the fight and the poor camera quality of the surveillance video from across the street, the officer pulls out his Tasers. He can be heard firing twice, but, according to Cedar Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom, the Taser missed Lyoya both times. The two continue to fight and at times it appears that both men have their hands on the gun. Both men fall to the ground again as the officer repeatedly tells Lyoya to drop the Taser. At one point, the passenger can be heard saying that Lyoya is not touching the Taser.
With Lyoya face down, the officer manages to get on top of him. The officer, still telling Lyoya to drop the Taser, then pulls out his gun and shoots Lyoya in the head.
At a Wednesday afternoon press conference to review the videos, Winstrom said the body camera disabled because the button that controls the recording function was pressed for more than three seconds during the fight. . Winstrom said he estimated based on the video that the two men fought for the Taser for about 90 seconds.
The officer is currently on paid leave while Michigan State Police investigate the shooting. Winstrom said the officer would only be identified if charged with a crime.
During the press conference, Winstrom repeatedly declined to make definitive statements on whether he felt the shooting was justified or whether any of the officer’s actions may have violated the policy of the department. He said those decisions would be made by the state police investigation.
“I consider this a tragedy,” he said.
Attorney Ben Crump, who represents Lyoya’s family, said in a statement after the press conference that “the video clearly shows that this was an unnecessary, excessive and deadly use of force against an unarmed black man who was confused by the encounter and terrified.” for his life.”