Video shows Patrick Lyoya chased, held face down, and fatally shot by police in Michigan.
A Black man, face down on the ground, was fatally shot in the back of the head by a Michigan police officer, the violent climax of a traffic stop, foot chase and fight over a stun gun, according to videos of the April 4 incident released Wednesday.
Patrick Lyoya, 26, was killed outside a house in Grand Rapids, Mich. The white officer repeatedly ordered Lyoya to “let go” of his Taser, at one point demanding: “Drop the Taser!”
Citing a need for transparency, the city’s new police chief, Eric Winstrom, released four videos, including critical footage of the shooting recorded by a passenger in Lyoya’s car on that rainy morning.
“I view it as a tragedy…. It was a progression of sadness for me,” said Winstrom, a former high-ranking Chicago police commander who became Grand Rapids chief in March. The city of about 200,000 people is about 240 kilometres northwest of Detroit.
Video shows Lyoya running from the officer who stopped him for driving with a license plate that didn’t belong to the vehicle. They struggled in front of several homes while Lyoya’s passenger got out and watched.
Winstrom said the fight over the Taser lasted about 90 seconds. In the final moments, the officer was on top of Lyoya, kneeling on his back at times to subdue him.
“From my view of the video, Taser was deployed twice. Taser did not make contact,” Winstrom told reporters. “And Mr. Lyoya was shot in the head. However, that’s the only information that I have.”
State police are investigating the shooting. Kent County’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Stephen Cohle, said he completed the autopsy but toxicology tests haven’t been finished.
The traffic stop was tense from the start. Video shows Lyoya, a native of Congo, getting out of the car before the officer approached. He ordered Lyoya to get back in the vehicle but the man declined.