GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The investigation into the death of a Black driver shot by a white Grand Rapids Police Department officer continues.
The driver was identified to News 8 by his family on Tuesday as Patrick Lyoya, 26.
While witnesses are being interviewed, the officer who fired the shot has 72 hours from the time of the incident before he has to give his side of the story.
Giving that officer the 72 hours is considered best practices and part of GRPD’s use of force policy.
“To give the officer two full sleep cycles so that they can give a clearer and truthful response to the questions,” GRPD Chief Eric Winstrom said.
Winstrom said it’s common policy for police agencies across the country.
It doesn’t stop the investigation, and it wouldn’t stop charges from being filed against an officer.
“If the initial investigation by the state police produces an obvious amount of criminal activity, that officer would be placed into custody,” Winstrom said.
But if a civilian is suspected of committing a crime, would they have 72-hour period to gather their thoughts?
“I get it. I get that concern,” Winstrom said.
He said citizens do have the right to refuse to answer questions under the landmark 1966 Miranda decision, which allows someone accused of a crime to remain silent during questioning.
“Individuals have the right to remain silent. As do police officers,” Winstrom said. “We expect them to provide in use of force incidents a full accounting, so that’s part of the difference between a civilian and an officer.”