(Washington) Several dozen demonstrators gathered Wednesday evening in Grand Rapids, Michigan, after the publication of videos showing the death of a young black man, killed by a white police officer.
One of the four videos of the tragedy that occurred on April 4, shows the policeman lying on the back of Patrick Lyoya, 26, before he shot him, in all likelihood, in the head.
An altercation between Patrick Lyoya and the policeman had broken out after a traffic stop, and shortly before the shooting, the two men appeared to be struggling on the ground to take control of the policeman’s electric gun. His name has not been revealed.
According to images from the local ABC channel, several dozen people had gathered in downtown Grand Rapids, a Michigan city of some 200,000 people. The demonstrators carried signs “Black Lives Matter” (“black lives matter”), and chanted “no justice, no peace”.
“I consider this a tragedy,” Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom said of the April 4 event at a press conference Wednesday where the videos were released.
“The loss of a life, regardless of the circumstances, is sad, and I know it will impact our city,” he added.
American society has been rocked in recent years by the deaths of black men killed by police, particularly after a white police officer in Minneapolis knelt on the neck of African American George Floyd in 2020.
The images of the death of George Floyd, in the street face against the ground, and after he had repeatedly repeated that he could no longer breathe, had shocked the whole world.
His name had thus become, alongside others, an emblem of the Black Lives Matter movement during the major anti-racist demonstrations of 2020.
The police officer in Grand Rapids has been placed on paid leave pending the results of the Michigan State Police investigation, Eric Winstrom said.