On April 4, 2022, another young Black man, Patrick Lyoya, died at the hands of a Grand Rapids, Michigan police officer following a traffic stop. Mr. Lyoya, a Congolese refugee, was stopped by the police for allegedly having an unregistered license plate. Whether Mr. Lyoya, in fact, had a registered license plate may be in dispute, but, under Michigan law, it is not a crime to have an unregistered license plate. It is a civil infraction. The NAACP is deeply concerned that yet one more young Black man has lost his life during a traffic stop by the police. The NAACP is also deeply troubled that, although eight days have passed since Mr. Lyoya lost his life, neither the Grand Rapids Police Department nor the Michigan State Police has interviewed the officer or officers involved in the fatal shooting. Rather than proceeding in a transparent manner to ensure public trust, the Grand Rapids Police Department has failed to produce any information about the officers involved in this fatal shooting, nor has it produced any information about the disciplinary record of the police officers involved in this incident. The police also have failed to release any medical examiner's report that presumably would shed light on the injuries sustained by Mr. Lyoya.
The NAACP demands a full and transparent investigation into the death of Mr. Lyoya. We demand an immediate release of the unedited or redacted dash camera video, body camera videos, and any cellular phone videos, the identity of the officer(s) involved, the officer's complaint history, and the medical examiner's report. We further demand that the Michigan State Police interview the officer involved immediately. This incident occurred several days ago. Yet, the officer still has not been interviewed. This is unacceptable. We urge immediate action by investigators and we demand transparency by the both the Grand Rapids Police Department and the Michigan State Police. The family of Mr. Lyoya, and indeed the greater community of Grand Rapids deserve nothing less.