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Dana Chicklas, (734) 945-8857,

April 13, 2022

ACLU and Coalition Partners Condemn the Grand Rapids Police Killing of Patrick Lyoya and Call for Transparency, Accountability  

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Following the Grand Rapids Police Department’s (GRPD) release today of several horrific videos documenting the police killing of Congolese father Patrick Lyoya, 26, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan (ACLU), Greater Grand Rapids NAACP, LINC UP, and Michigan Immigrant Rights Center together grieve with the family and community, and condemn the brutal disregard for Mr. Lyoya’s life. Enough is enough. It is time to put an end to the systemic indifference to Black lives that pervades police culture throughout Grand Rapids, the state, and nation. Accountability requires not just full transparency, but a commitment to fundamentally changing policing so that no more lives are lost. The City and GRPD must listen to the voices of Mr. Lyoya’s family and those at the forefront of this struggle about what they need in this time of crisis. We urgently call on the City of Grand Rapids, GRPD, and government officials to take the following immediate steps:  

  • The name of the officer involved who shot and killed Patrick Lyoya must be disclosed;  
  • A prosecutor outside of Kent County, who does not work regularly with the GRPD, must be appointed to handle this case, as is legally required in many states and is widely acknowledged to be best practice;  
  • A federal investigation must be immediately launched into this killing along with the history and culture of the GRPD;
  • The community must have a seat at the table in the ongoing negotiations over the GRPD police union contracts, which have for far too long shielded officers from accountability and which do not reflect the community’s priorities for how to achieve public safety in our City; 
  • Both the Civilian Appeal Board and the Office of Oversight and Public Accountability must be given the authority, resources, and funding to provide true civilian oversight and be able to affect real change; and 
  • The City and GRPD must respect the constitutional right of all people to protest this tragedy and exercise their freedom of speech without violence, threats or intimidation.  

Loren Khogali, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, has this statement:  

“The brutal and senseless death of Patrick Lyoya is the result of a police interaction that unnecessarily escalated to violence, the reflection of a policing culture that relies on enforcement and tolerates violent responses to nonviolent situations. The community waited nine days for the release of this horrific video showing the death of Patrick Lyoya at the hands of a GRPD officer. The video evidence raises more questions, and the City must be absolutely transparent throughout this investigation. For years, the community has been calling for an end to racist policing practices and for a public safety model based on community reinvestment. The GRPD and City’s lack of response has now resulted in Mr. Lyoya’s killing. This must end. A meaningful and impactful response to the community’s call for change is long overdue.” 

Cle J. Jackson, president of the Greater Grand Rapids NAACP has this statement: 

“Rage and hurt do not begin to express the depth of despair that we are experiencing at the site of another Black man killed at the hands of a police officer. When will the killing of Black people stop? We must stop it. We must ensure this senseless loss of life is not in vain. We demand accountability and full transparency. We demand the full release of every document related to the killing of Patrick Lyoya. We demand a police department that can truly be trusted to protect and serve all people. Patrick, his family, and the greater community of Grand Rapids, deserve nothing less.” 

LaKiya Jenkins, executive director of LINC UP has this statement: 
“I am deeply saddened by the violent murder of Patrick Lyoya. Our current policing structure continues to fail us and intentional change must happen now. We stand in solidarity with the family and local community in the call for justice. To our community, justice is the immediate arrest of the officer involved and the full cooperation of the other officers on the scene. Justice is ultimately an indictment brought down by an independent prosecutor who will pursue this case with clear eyes. Anything less will be a failure by our city's leaders.” 

Susan Reed, attorney and director of Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, has this statement: 

“Like all immigrants, Patrick Lyoya deserved to find freedom and safety in our country. The Grand Rapids police broke that promise. We mourn with the family and community as we call for justice for Patrick.” 

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