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Rev. Al Sharpton is demanding that authorities publicly release the name of the officer who shot and killed Patrick Lyoya, 26, on April 4.
Sharpton made the comments during Lyoya’s funeral on Friday in Grand Rapids, Michigan, stating “We want his name!”
“Every time a young Black man or woman is arrested in this town, you put their name all over the news. Every time we’re suspected of something, you put our name out there,” Sharpton said. “How dare you hold the name of a man that killed this man? We want his name!”
The Rev. Al Sharpton speaks during the funeral for George Floyd on Tuesday, June 9, 2020, at The Fountain of Praise church in Houston. (Godofredo A. Vásquez/Houston Chronicle via AP, Pool)
The Grand Rapids Police Department has stated that the officer’s name will not be released unless a charge is filed.
Michigan State Police are investigating the incident and will forward their findings to Chris Becker, Kent County prosecutor, who will consider if charges should be filed.
Ben Crump is a civil rights attorney representing the Lyoya family. (Fox 2 Detroit)
Videos released by the police department on April 13 show that the officer, who is White, pulled over Lyoya, who was Black, on April 4 because the car tags didn’t belong to the vehicle he was driving.
Lyoya, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, got out of the car before the police officer approached, and when the officer asked for his license and told him to get in the car, he began to run away.
The officer grabbed Lyoya shortly after, and the two men began struggling for the officer’s taser.
Patrick Lyoya, a 26-year-old man from the Democratic Republic of Congo, was shot and killed by an officer on April 4. (Grand Rapids Police Department) (Grand Rapids Police Department)
The police officer pulled out his handgun after about two minutes and shot Lyoya in the head once, killing him.
Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom said at a press conference that the taser did not make contact with Lyoya.
“From my view of the video, Taser was deployed twice. Taser did not make contact,” Winstrom said. “And Mr. Lyoya was shot in the head. However, that’s the only information that I have.”
Ben Crump, a civil rights attorney representing the Lyoya family, said on Friday that “an unnamed police officer escalated a simple misdemeanor traffic stop into a deadly execution.”
After struggling over a Taser, the officer pulled his handgun and shot Patrick Lyoya once in the head. (Grand Rapids Police Department) (Grand Rapids Police Department)
“World leaders can’t condemn Russian soldiers shooting unarmed citizens in the back of the head in Ukraine, but then refuse to condemn police officers shooting unarmed Black citizens here in Grand Rapids, Michigan,” Crump said. “If it’s wrong that you do it in the Ukraine then it’s wrong that you do it in Grand Rapids.”
The Associated Press and Fox News’ Paul Best contributed to this report.