Grands Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom released four videos from the officer-involved shooting that left 26-year-old Patrick Lyoya dead earlier this month. The videos were collected from a passenger in Lyoya’s car, the officer’s body-worn camera, the officer’s patrol car and a doorbell camera.
Video shows Lyoya running from the officer, who stopped him for driving with a license plate that didn’t belong to the vehicle. The brief foot chase led to a struggle over a stun gun.
“From my view of the video, so this is not a conclusion, because I don’t know what other information is out there, but it looks like that they were struggling over the Taser for about 90 seconds,” Winstrom said at a Wednesday news conference.
In the video, a Grand Rapids police officer can be heard repeatedly ordering Lyoya to “let go” of his Taser, at one point demanding: “Drop the Taser!”
In the final moments, the officer was on top of Lyoya, kneeling on his back at times to subdue him.
“From my view of the video, Taser was deployed twice. Taser did not make contact,” Winstrom said. “And Mr. Lyoya was shot in the head. However, that’s the only information that I have.”
Michigan State police are investigating the shooting. Winstrom’s decision to release the shooting video appears to be an effort to increase transparency as protests began to form in Grand Rapids earlier this week.
“I thank the public for their patience and understanding while waiting for the release of the video,” Winstrom said in a statement. “I intend to continue to be as forthright and transparent as possible during the ongoing Michigan State Police investigation, while maintaining my duty to protect the integrity of that investigation in the interests of justice and accountability.”
Winstrom has not identified the officer, a seven-year veteran who is on paid leave during the investigation. Prosecutor Chris Becker, who will decide whether any charges are warranted, objected to the release but said Winstrom could act on his own.
“While the videos released today are an important piece of evidence, they are not all of the evidence,” Becker said.