GRAND RAPIDS, MI Flanked by noted civil-rights attorney Ben Crump, the parents of a Black man who was shot and killed by Grand Rapids police said they were heartbroken and should be prosecuted.
Dorcas and Peter Lyoya, whose son, Patrick Lyoya, was shot in the head after a traffic stop on April 4, said that police should immediately disclose the officer's name and photograph.
The officer has not been charged.
"You cannot shoot an unarmed person simply because they resist, and you cannot shoot an unarmed person simply because of their skin's color," Crump said during a press conference at the Renaissance Church of God in Christ on the 33rd Street SE in Grand Rapids on Thursday, April 14, in a statement.
Crump, attorney Ven Johnson, and others on the parents' behalf expect to file a federal lawsuit over the assassination of Patrick Lyoya.
Chief Eric Winstrom, a police officer on the ground of Lyoya, who was lying facedown in the grass when he was shot in the head, released a disturbing video on Wednesday.
Despite an ongoing investigation, Crump described the video as just the latest example of a Black person being murdered in the United States by police.
Peter and Dorcas Lyoya, their four children and daughter, attended the press conference.
"My heart is completely broken," said the father, while his other children wiped tears.
They never imagined he would be killed by police in the United States. He said his son was "mute kid rather than a brutal kid."
His mother said she would never lose her first child. She believed her children would be safe in America.
Through a translator, she said, "I need justice for my son."
A traffic stop on Nelson Avenue SE just north of Griggs Street began when her son walked out of his car ignoring instructions to return to the car. Then he appeared to bump against the cop.
The two fought for control of the officer's Taser for up to two minutes, but it was fired into the ground and did not hit anyone. Crump said the Taser would not be used again after it was fired twice. A video showed Lyoya facing down on the ground, with the officer on his side, when a single shot was fired, kicking Lyoya in the head.
The attack has sparked protests in Grand Rapids. Police put concrete barricades outside of their headquarters on Monroe Center Street NW.
State investigators are investigating the shooting. Records will be sent to Chris Becker of Kent County.
Becker said the clips are important, but they aren't the only evidence prosecutors will examine.
State police officer Michelle Robinson said Thursday that no additional information was being released "as it remains an active and ongoing investigation." There is no timeline for the investigation to come to an end, according to the statement.
Commissioner Robert Womack, who has served as an advocate for the Lyoya family, asked Crump to investigate the case. Womack, who spoke at a press conference, held a shirt that said, "Please let us live!"
Crump, a high-profile civil-rights attorney, has represented the families of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, among others. Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer, has tried to assist the Lyoyas in the tragedy.
According to Louisville Metro police, Taylor, who grew up in Grand Rapids, was fatally shot March 13, 2020, with a "no-knock" search warrant. During a "no-knock," fire reports, authorities said they returned fire after Taylor's boyfriend fired a shot.
The boyfriend claims he believed intruders had broken into the property. No one has been charged in the killing.
Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, died on May 25, 2020, after he ignored pleas that Floyd could not breathe. Chauvin was sentenced to 22 years in prison.
Activists appeared at a press conference in Grand Rapids and screamed, "Justice for Patrick." The man's parents said they appreciated their efforts and demanded that protests be peaceful.
The head of the Grand Rapids police said he expects a civil lawsuit to be filed.
He would not comment on potential charges or discipline against the officer who was stripped of his policing powers while on paid administrative leave.
The Internal Affairs of the Grand Rapids Police Department will investigate once the state police investigation has been completed.
The prosecutor, Michael Becker, said the clips are important, but they are not the only evidence. He said prosecutors will examine all evidence before making a decision on whether charges will be filed.