Rising Voices' Statement on the Police Killing of Patrick Lyoya
Our definition of safety can never include murder.
The killing of Patrick Lyoya by the police is murder, plain and simple. Patrick was never convicted of a capital crime, and at no time was he a threat to public safety.
Patrick Lyoya should be alive today. Instead, he was summarily executed.
Rising Voices organizes and develops the leadership of Asian American women and families across Michigan for self-determination and to build power in multi-racial movements for change. One of our core values is shared liberation, and though our organizing focus is on persons of or descended from the Asian diaspora, we know that our liberation is tied up with all other BIPOC people, and that solidarity with the Black community is a cornerstone of our organizing principles.
The change we seek is to create a better world where there are no instruments of state violence and where there is no profit to be gained by dividing our communities. Patrick Lyoya was a refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he lived in Grand Rapids, MI for the last five years. He should be living still.
We lift up the demands of the family as put forth by Together We Are Safe: Bridging the Gap of Grand Rapids and defund the GRPD:
All body and dashboard camera footage needs to be publicly released immediately. This includes the officer who killed Patrick and any other officers who were on the scene of the murder.
The city must release the name of the officer who shot and killed Patrick.
The City of Grand Rapids, the Kent County Chief Medical Examiner, and GRPD must allow an external autopsy to be conducted.
Translators must be present with any communication with Patrick’s family.
We also encourage community members to call Grand Rapids City and Police Authority officials and demand transparency for the murder of Patrick Lyoya:
KENT COUNTY PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE
Chirstopher R. Becker, Prosecuting Attorney
GRAND RAPIDS POLICE DEPARTMENT
Eric Winstrom, Chief
OFFICE OF OVERSIGHT AND PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY
GRAND RAPIDS MAYOR
Joseph D. Jones