GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The family of Patrick Lyoya, who was shot and killed by a Grand Rapids police officer this week, is demanding video that shows what happened be released right away.
“(Lyoya’s father) Peter wants the video out and Peter wants justice,” Siku said. “He wants people to know the truth. As a father, Peter don’t want to see this happen another parent to go through.”
Patrick Lyoya, 26, was shot and killed Monday morning. Police say he tried to run away from a traffic stop and engaged in a “lengthy fight” with the officer. The officer, whose name has not been released, ultimately shot and killed him.
The chief of the Grand Rapids Police Department said that he wanted to release the video next week, but the Kent County prosecutor on Thursday morning asked that no police agencies release it until the investigation is complete. It remains unclear exactly when that video will be made public.
Israel Siku is the interpreter for Lyoya’s family. He was with Lyoya’s father when Michigan State Police, who are handling the investigation, showed him the video that shows Lyoya’s final moments.
“What happened to his son was so horrible and I can guarantee this that as a parent, I would never want to see something like that happen to any kid,” Siku told News 8 Thursday.
He said MSP walked Lyoya’s father through what happened from start to finish.
“I ask a question. I say, ‘How was he killed?’ And she said, ‘He was shot in the head,'” Siku said.
He said Peter Lyoya then asked to see the video.
“The father insisted (on seeing the video) and said, ‘I would like to see how my son has been killed,'” Siku said.
The video, Siku said, shows Lyoya struggling and the fatal shot. Because the video has not been made public, News 8 has not seen it and therefore cannot independently confirm the interpreter’s description of what it shows.
“I saw that video and I could not sleep. I couldn’t. They shoot him in the back of the head,” Siku said. “He killed the boy and it was an execution style.”
“(Lyoya’s father) was crying. Grown-up man crying. He was mad,” Siku continued.
He said Lyoya’s father questions what led up to the shooting. Police previously said it happened during a traffic stop, but the interpreter said MSP told the family otherwise, saying Lyoya had stopped to check on something on the car he was driving when the officer pulled up behind him.
“Patrick was already outside of the car, so he told Patrick to go in the car and that’s when they start arguing,” Siku said.
Siku added that Lyoya did not have a weapon. The Grand Rapids police chief, who has also seen the video, added that he also did not see a weapon in it — though he also stressed that his department is not handling the investigation and he doesn’t have all the information MSP does.
“My final word, what I’m going to tell you: He killed the boy and he knows exactly what he did,” Siku said. “He had no business of killing that boy.”
In an email to News 8 Thursday, Grand Rapids Police Department Chief Eric Winstrom said he can’t imagine what Peter Lyoya is going through.
“As this is an active criminal investigation, I will not comment on the content of the video at this time to protect the integrity of the investigation,” Winstrom wrote.