GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Faith and community leaders are responding to Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom’s decision to release the video of a Black man who was killed by an officer despite pushback from the prosecuting attorney’s office.

“I was pleased to hear that the chief stuck with his commitment to release the video. I think it’s understandable that the community would like to have the video released sooner,” City Commissioner and Pastor of Brown Hutcherson Ministries Joe Jones said. “Part of that is just the desire for us to see for ourselves what happened.”

Patrick Lyoya, 26, was pulled over by a GRPD officer on the morning of April 4. The officer, a 7-year veteran with the department, stopped Lyoya because the license plate didn’t match the car, according to Winstrom.

A “lengthy fight” ensued and ended with Lyoya shot in the back, according to an interpreter of the family who watched video of the shooting earlier this week.

“There are a lot of questions that are swirling. I think the release of the video will answer some questions, perhaps, but likely not all the questions. And I think it’s a natural response for the community to want the video released as soon as possible,” Jones said.

Executive Director of Oakdale Neighbors and Pastor of Alpha Omega Ministries Kenneth W. Hoskins lives blocks away from where the shooting took place.

He’s received a number of calls from community members who are in shock about the shooting, concerned for the victim’s family and fearful of their own safety.

Hoskins believes when police departments and city officials offer transparency from the very start of an investigation, there is trust.

“That’s been long corroded in the city, and we want to bridge those gaps and bring those closer together,” he said. “Being in the community and living in the community, you ought to feel safe.”

Neither Jones nor Hoskins has seen the video and have refrained from making any opinions about the incident until the video is released to the public. They are urging patience and peace as people gather this week across the city. They are asking that the public allow for the investigation to take place.

“March, do whatever we need to do,” Hoskins said. “We have the First Amendment right to do those things. Let’s do it peacefully and let’s see the process through.”

Jones says this is a very difficult time for the city and it’s “perfectly natural” for the community to be outraged and seek justice by demanding the truth be told in a timely manner.

Just two years ago, people took to the streets with their cries and frustrations regarding police brutality against minorities after George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis, was killed by a police officer who knelt down on Floyd’s neck following an arrest. The restraint resulted in Floyd’s death according to medical examiners.

There have been other names that sparked city-wide protests regarding police brutality and racism including Breonna Taylor. She was a native of Grand Rapids who was killed during a police raid in Louisville in March 2020. She and her boyfriend were asleep when Louisville Metro Police Officers entered her apartment while executing a search warrant for her ex-boyfriend.

“What we are seeing is the collateral damage of a fractured relationship over the course of decades in regards to police and community relations,” Jones said. “Although we didn’t know Patrick, there is a deep sense of grief that his life has been taken and we’ve seen this play out before in our country. Part of the African American experience is this connection to those who are grieving, to those who are suffering. This is another example. The only difference is that it is happening in our own backyard, in the 616.”