Family of Patrick Lyoya, who was shot and killed by a Grand Rapids police officer, spoke during a press conference with civil rights attorney Ben Crump Thursday afternoon.
Breaking down in tears, Lyoya's parents are heartbroken as they grieve their son’s death.
They’re demanding accountability, saying officers cannot shoot someone for resisting arrest and based on the color of their skin.
“I don’t know what to do. I cannot stop myself from crying. I was thinking my son was going to bury me but astonishingly, I am going to bury my son,” the victim’s mother Dorcas Lyoya said.
Patrick’s father Peter Lyoya said, “My life has come to an end. My life was Patrick, my son. I was thinking that Patrick would take my place.”
Patrick Lyoya was shot and killed by an unnamed Grand Rapids Police Department officer after a traffic stop the morning of April 4. On Thursday, the family’s attorney cast doubt on some of the facts released, including the officer’s body camera shutting off seconds before the gunshot was fired.
“It’s such a coincidence. It’s such a coincidence the video turns off right before he kills him,” Crump said.
The mother of Grand Rapids native Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed by police in Kentucky in 2020, joined the Lyoya family during Thursday’s event.
Crump says Patrick Lyoya, an immigrant from the Republic of Congo, was confused in the stop for a non-moving violation. He also said Patrick Lyoya never has taken a violent act against an officer, and the police officer involved escalated the situation by failing to follow basic training, ultimately shooting Patrick in the back of the head.
“What was so wrong about him calling for backup? It wasn’t like Patrick murdered someone or robbed anybody. He was stopped for a traffic violation,” Crump said.
Crump says the officer had no right to use lethal force and must be terminated and charged after killing the father of young children.
This story was originally published by Simon Shaykhet