Police officer charged with second-degree murder of Patrick Lyoya

Police officer charged with second-degree murder of Patrick Lyoya.

On Thursday, officials in Kent County, Michigan, revealed that the officer who fatally shot 26-year-old Patrick Lyoya on April 4 was charged with second-degree murder. 

The incident, in which police shot Lyoya in the skull during a traffic check following a scuffle, caused widespread anger and demands for the officer to be punished.

Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker said he feels adequate evidence to sustain the officer’s second-degree murder indictment. 

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At a Thursday press conference, Becker said that the charge is a felony punishable by up to life in prison without the possibility of release.

The officer, who is White, pulls over Lyoya, who is Black, for driving with mismatched plates, according to video provided by the Grand Rapids Police Department in April. 

Despite the officer’s orders to remain inside, Lyoya stepped out of the vehicle on camera. Lyoya seems to ask a passenger to acquire his license and then attempts to go towards the passenger side of the automobile when told to do so.

The officer then tells Lyoya to come to a halt and grabs him. After a short fight, Lyoya manages to get away, and the officer pursues him on foot. On a neighboring grass, the cop tackles Lyoya, and the two begin to battle.

The officer shoots his Taser twice, but Cedar Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom says both times he missed Lyoya. As the fight continues, both guys sometimes have their hands on the Taser.

The officer can repeatedly instruct Lyoya to remove his hand off the Taser, even though the passenger claims Lyoya isn’t touching it.

The cop is eventually seen standing on top of Lyoya and shooting him in the head. According to an independent autopsy, he was murdered by a headshot.

The officer’s body camera, the dashcam from the officer’s vehicle, security footage from home across the street, and cell phone video obtained by a passenger in the car was the videos provided by police. 

Even yet, some of the dialogue — particularly the seconds leading up to the shooting — is difficult to decipher. 

The body-worn camera had been disabled at the time of the incident, the surveillance footage was from a long distance away, and the mobile phone often pointed towards the ground rather than the officer and Lyoya.