GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan – A black man face down on the ground was fatally shot in the back of the head by a Michigan police officer, the culmination of the violence was a stoppage of traffic, a brief chase and a stunning gun fight, according to videos from April 4, the incident was published on Wednesday.
Patrick Lioja, 26, was killed in front of a house in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The white officer repeatedly ordered Lioya to “release” his stun gun, at one point insisting: “Throw the stun gun!
Citing the need for transparency, the city’s new police chief, Eric Winstrom, released four videos, including critical footage of the shooting, recorded by a passenger in Lioja’s car that rainy morning.
“I see this as a tragedy. … It was a progression of sadness for me, “said Winstrom, a former high-ranking Chicago police commander who became head of Grand Rapids in March. The city of about 200,000 people is about 150 miles (240 kilometers) northwest of Detroit.
The video shows Leia fleeing from the police officer who stopped him for driving with a registration number that is not on the vehicle. They fought in front of several houses as Lioja’s companion went out and watched.
Winstrom said the battle for Taser lasted about 90 seconds. At the last moment, the officer was on top of Lioya, sometimes kneeling on his back to subdue him.
“From my point of view in the video, Taser was deployed twice. Taser made no contact, “Winstrom told reporters.” And Mr. Lioja was shot in the head. However, this is the only information I have. “
State police are investigating the shooting. Kent County Chief Physician Dr. Stephen Cole said he had completed the autopsy, but toxicology tests were not complete.
Stopping was tense from the start. The video shows Lioja, a native of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, getting out of the car before a police officer approaches. He ordered Lioja back in the car, but the man refused.
The policeman asked him if he spoke English and asked for his driver’s license. The foot chase began soon after, a video shows.
Winstrom did not identify the officer, a seven-year veteran who was on paid leave during the investigation.
“I’ve been from Chicago for the last 20 years, I’ve dealt with a lot of police shootings myself, so I have a lot of experience in that,” the chief said. I hoped I would never have to use that experience here.
Video was collected from Lioja’s passenger, the policeman’s camera, the policeman’s patrol car and a doorbell. Prosecutor Chris Becker, who will decide whether the charges are justified, objected to the release, but said Winstrom could act alone.
Becker said the public should not expect a quick solution.
“While the videos released today are important evidence, they are not all evidence,” he said.
City manager Mark Washington warned that the videos would lead to “expressions of shock, anger and pain.” Some downtown companies closed their shop windows and concrete barricades surrounded police headquarters.
Lioya had two young daughters and five siblings, said Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who spoke with his family.
“He arrived in the United States as a refugee with his family, fleeing violence. He had his whole life ahead of him, “said Whitmer, a Democrat.
Prominent civil rights lawyer Ben Crump, speaking on behalf of Lioja’s family, on Wednesday called for the shooting officer to be fired and prosecuted.
“The video clearly shows that this was an unnecessary, excessive and fatal use of force against an unarmed black man who was confused by the meeting and horrified for his life,” Crump said in a statement.
Crump’s family and Lioya are expected to hold a press conference on Thursday afternoon.
More than 100 people marched to Grand Rapids City Hall ahead of Tuesday night’s City Commission meeting, chanting “Black Life Matters” and “No Justice, No Peace.”
On Wednesday, several hundred protesters gathered in front of the Grand Rapids Police Department after the videos were released with curses and shouts behind the barricades. The group asked officials to make public the name of the officer involved in the shooting.
Some companies cut their opening hours on Wednesday, closing earlier. Some board nailed windows. But the demonstration remained nonviolent, with protesters demanding justice for Lioja and other blacks killed in a police shooting.
Winstrom said last week that he had met Lioja’s father, Peter Lioja, and that they were both crying.
“I understand him as a father. … It’s just heartbreaking, “the boss told WOOD-TV.
As in many cities in the United States, Grand Rapids police have occasionally been criticized for using force, especially against blacks, who make up 18 percent of the population.
In November, the Michigan Supreme Court heard arguments in a lawsuit over the practice of taking and taking fingerprints of people who have never been charged with a crime. Grand Rapids said the policy changed in 2015.
A downtown street is designated Breonna Taylor Way, named after a black woman and a native of Grand Rapids who was killed by police in Louisville, Kentucky, during a failed drug attack in 2020.
White reported from Detroit. AP Corey Williams reporters in West Bloomfield, Michigan; David Egert in Lansing, Michigan; and John Flasher of Traverse City, Michigan, contributed to this story.
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A Michigan cop on the black man’s back shot him dead
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