GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — As the people of Grand Rapids await the release of video showing the killing of Patrick Lyoya by a police officer, the city official working to make sure transparency is a part of the process has already seen it.
“I have seen the video,” Brandon Davis, runs the city’s Office of Oversight and Public Accountability, told News 8 Tuesday, though he wouldn’t comment on it or say if the statements from others who have seen it are accurate.
Davis said one of his roles is to remain neutral throughout the investigatory process.
“It would be inappropriate for me to comment on the content of the video,” he said.
The Grand Rapids Police Department police officer shot and killed Patrick Lyoya on the morning of April 4. The department says he ran away from an officer and there was a “lengthy fight” that ended with the shooting. Video of the shooting will be released to the public Wednesday afternoon.
The case is the biggest challenge Davis has faced since the inception of the Office of Oversight and Public Accountability three years ago.
“We’re humans first, so the tragedy that’s associated with it definitely brings a different level of emotion, and with that brings additional challenges,” Davis said.
Formed in 2019, his office’s primary goal is bringing more accountability and creating trust between the community and GRPD.
For a replay of faith leaders talking about Lyoya’s death, watch the video in the player below.
“We’re in conversation with faith-based leaders as well as community leaders regarding all of the issues we’re at liberty to speak about right now, in order to attempt to be the bridge in this instance,” Davis said.
The idea is that the more trust develops, the better the city can weather a crisis situation. Davis said an example of the outcome of that effort was seen last weekend. Protesters held a march through the streets of the neighborhood where Lyoya died.
“I don’t want to predict outcome in the investigation. Nor do I want to predict how people will respond to what they see,” Davis said. “I’ll say this, that this weekend, Grand Rapidians proved that you can have strong emotion and still respond peacefully.”