DETROIT (AP) — Lawyers for the family of Patrick Lyoya say an independent autopsy confirms that the Black man was fatally shot in the head by a Michigan police officer.
The result was released at a news conference Tuesday. It confirms what seems clear on video: The 26-year-old Lyoya was on the ground when he was shot in the back of the head by a Grand Rapids officer. Lyoya was not armed.
Attorney Ben Crump says the officer failed to ease up after a foot chase and physical struggle following a traffic stop in Grand Rapids on April 4.
The autopsy was performed by Dr. Werner Spitz, a former Detroit-area medical examiner. Results of the official autopsy haven’t been publicly released.
Crump says Lyoya could have lived until his early 80s.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.
Lawyers for the family of Patrick Lyoya, a Black man killed by police in western Michigan, said they will release results from an independent autopsy Tuesday.
Video from a bystander shows Lyoya, who was not armed, was on the ground when he was shot in the head during a struggle with a white Grand Rapids officer on April 4. The official autopsy report is being shared with state police and won’t immediately be released to the public.
But a separate autopsy was performed by Dr. Werner Spitz, a 95-year-old forensic pathologist who worked on investigations following the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., among other high-profile cases. He’s a former medical examiner in the Detroit area.
Lyoya’s death has outraged his family as well as many people who have watched video of the confrontation with an officer.
The officer, whose name hasn’t been released, is heard saying during a traffic stop that the license plate didn’t match the car. Lyoya declined to get back into the vehicle as ordered, and a short foot chase ensued.
In the final moments, the officer was on top of Lyoya, trying to subdue him. He fired his gun after demanding that Lyoya drop his police Taser.
State police will give their findings to the Kent County prosecutor for consideration of any charges. Lyoya is a refugee from Congo in Africa.
Lyoya’s funeral is planned for Friday at Renaissance Church of God in Christ in Grand Rapids. The Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network said it will help cover the cost. He will deliver a eulogy.
Find the AP’s full coverage of the fatal police shooting of Patrick Lyoya: https://apnews.com/hub/patrick-lyoya