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Footage released of white police officer shooting black man in the back of the head | US News


Police in the US have released footage of an incident where a black man was fatally shot in the back of the head by a police officer.

Patrick Lyoya, 26, was stopped earlier this month for driving with a licence plate that did not match the vehicle, when he tried to run from the unidentified officer in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The pair struggled over the officer’s Taser for about 90 seconds, with the white officer kneeling on top of Mr Lyoya in an effort to subdue him.

Footage was collected from Mr Lyoya’s passenger, the officer’s body-worn camera, the officer’s patrol car, and the doorbell camera of a nearby house.

Mr Lyoya and the officer struggled over the officer’s Taser at one point. Pic: Grand Rapids Police

The city’s new police chief Eric Winstrom released all four, citing the need for transparency and describing the incident as “a tragedy”, adding: “It was a progression of sadness for me”.

The footage shows Mr Lyoya, who was from the Democratic Republic of Congo, getting out of the car before the officer approached.

The officer, a seven-year veteran who is on paid leave during the investigation and has not been named publicly, ordered Mr Lyoya to get back in the vehicle, but Mr Lyoya refused.

The officer asked Mr Lyoya if he spoke English and the chase began shortly afterwards.

The two fought over the officer’s Taser, with the officer ordering Mr Lyoya to “let go” and “drop the Taser”.

Mr Winstrom said: “From my view of the video, Taser was deployed twice. Taser did not make contact.

“And Mr Lyoya was shot in the head. However, that is the only information I have.”

A Grand Rapids Police officer asks Patrick Lyoya if he speaks English, as he stands near a car during a traffic stop, shortly before he was shot dead by the officer during a scuffle on a suburban front lawn in Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S. April 4, 2022 in a still image from police body camera video. Video taken April 4, 2022. Pic: Grand Rapids Police
Mr Lyoya had come from the Democratic Republic of Congo as a refugee. Pic: Grand Rapids Police

Prosecutor Chris Becker will decide whether the police officer will face charges but said the public should not expect a quick decision, adding that the videos were “not all of the evidence”.

Mr Lyoya, a father of two young daughters, arrived in the US with his family as a refugee, according to Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer.

More than 100 people marched to Grand Rapids City Hall on Tuesday night. chanting “black lives matter” and “no justice, no peace”.

On Wednesday, after the release of the videos, several hundred people gathered outside the city’s police department, demanding that the name of the officer be made public.

The protest was not violent.

Police in Grand Rapids, a city of about 200,000 people about 150 miles northwest of Detroit, have occasionally been criticised over their use of force, particularly against black people.


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