GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Community members came together Tuesday to mark one year since the police killing of Patrick Lyoya.
“Justice for Patrick” is plastered across a new billboard at Eastern Avenue and Sherman Street in Grand Rapids. It was unveiled one year after Lyoya was fatally shot by former Grand Rapids police officer Christopher Schurr.
“The reality is this man has been murdered in the streets of Grand Rapids,” said Reginald James, an organizer. “We’re doing whatever we’ve got to do to keep his name alive. We’re going to keep his name going, we’re going justice for his daughters and his family, and justice for him.”
The double-sided billboard, which also calls for justice for Lyoya’s two daughters, was purchased entirely through community donations.
“We as a community need to come together more to support one another, help one another, help my brother, help my sister when she needs help. We’ve got to do it and if we’re not going to do it, who’s going to do it for us?” James said.
After the billboard was revealed, dozens headed to Griggs Street and Nelson Avenue, where Lyoya was killed, for a candlelight vigil.
“This is about Patrick, he’s the real victim and his daughters will never have a daddy-daughter dance,” said Erykai Cage, a participant in the vigil.
Community members that attended the vigil say through Schurr’s Oct. 24 trial date, they will continue to be heard.
“They postponed the trial so that just means we have to be out here for longer, the postponement does nothing but incite up fire in us to keep Patrick’s name alive,” Cage said.
As Nijimbazi Adelfine, the mother of one of Lyoya’s daughters mourns, she says she is thankful for the community’s support and her message echoes what many Tuesday were asking for.
“I really need justice for Patrick,” said Adelfine.
James said he wants to work with the community to purchase a headstone for Lyoya.