Another Black man died at the hands of police following a traffic stop in Grand Rapids, Michigan. On the morning of April 4, Patrick Lyoya was shot in the back of the head and killed by an unidentified Grand Rapids police officer. Reports say the officer had pinned Mr. Lyoya face-down on the ground with a knee in his back when he was shot.
New Detroit demands a full and transparent investigation into the death of 26-year-old Mr. Lyoya. Although this happened more than a week ago, officials have not yet released the officer’s identity, the officer’s complaint history, or the medical examiner’s report. We demand urgent action by all investigators and the release of any materials that will shed further light on the events leading up to and of the moment that ended Mr. Lyoya’s life.
New Detroit continues to advocate for true police reform. It is time for a close, unbiased, and thorough investigation into the history of and current actions of the Grand Rapids Police Department. Our condolences go out to Mr. Lyoya’s family and the community.
New Detroit is a coalition of 57 nonprofit, corporate, and civic leaders working to achieve racial understanding and racial equity in Metropolitan Detroit. We were formed in response to civil unrest in 1967 at the request of the Michigan Governor George Romney, Detroit Mayor Jerome Cavanagh, and business executive Joseph L. Hudson, Jr. to identify what went wrong, what needed to change, and how to make that change happen Today, NDI moves toward its mission by providing thought leadership, advocating for policy change, and offering direct services including facilitated conversations on race and customized training on racial diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ).