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Community Updates: Friday, Apr. 8

Michigan State Police conduct an investigation into a shooting involving a GRPD officer; the Grand Rapids Public Museum announces a new original exhibition; and more
A nighttime view of downtown Grand Rapids from the Blue Bridge.

A nighttime view of downtown Grand Rapids from the Blue Bridge. /Antonia Enos Burrows

Michigan State Police conduct an investigation into a shooting involving a GRPD officer

On the morning of April 4th, 2022, the Grand Rapids Police Department announced that one person was dead after an officer-involved shooting.

According to a press release sent out by GRPD and the City of Grand Rapids, an officer conducted a traffic stop at 8:11am on the southeast side of Grand Rapids (near the intersection of Griggs and Nelson). The driver exited the vehicle and fled the scene after initial contact with the officer. One passenger remained inside the vehicle. A foot pursuit followed and resulted in a physical altercation, during which the officer discharged his weapon. The driver, identified as 26-year-old Patrick Lyoya, died from injuries sustained in the shooting. The GRPD officer was also injured, but was examined on the scene and did not require hospitalization. The identity of the officer has not been released at this time. 

The Michigan State Police were immediately notified of the incident and have since taken over the investigation, which GRPD says is standard protocol. Very few details are available about what happened leading up to the event, but GRPD has confirmed that the license plate on the victim's car was not registered to that vehicle. Investigators will review body and vehicle footage, as well as eyewitness statements and videos recorded by private citizens. The Grand Rapids Police Department has revealed that they will not release the bodycam footage until next week. However, Christopher Becker, the Kent County Prosecuting Attorney, has asked them to wait until MSP has finished their investigation. “It is essential in the pursuit of justice to allow the investigation to continue to completion before partial information, including video evidence, is released to the public,” he said in a Thursday statement. “While I am committed to the transparency of the process, I must also follow legal and ethical duties to ensure the integrity of the investigation by ensuring that information regarding the event that could compromise the investigation is not released.”

The decision to withhold the officer’s bodycam footage has not sat well with some members of the community. "We are demanding the immediate release of any body camera footage or other video surveillance tools used in this incident," said Cle Jackson, President of the Greater Grand Rapids Branch of the NAACP. "The public deserves to have the footage released immediately." Similarly, Kent County Commissioner Robert Womack took to Facebook on Wednesday, April 6 to discuss the situation. "Release the video and let the public judge for themselves," he wrote. "The claim that Patrick died in direct combat, and was shot to stop him from fighting, is a lie."

Once the Michigan State Police conclude their investigation, they will release their findings to Chief Eric Winstrom and the GRPD Internal Affairs Division who will then give the records to the Office of Oversight and Public Accountability, according to the GRPD and City of Grand Rapids press release. 

Anyone with additional information and/or video evidence is encouraged to call Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345.


The Grand Rapids Public Museum announces a new original exhibit

The Grand Rapids Public Museum has announced a new original exhibition, called Fashion + Nature, that is set to open on April 23, 2022. The exhibit seeks to explore the history of fashion and how clothing has been influenced by nature, while also bringing awareness to the destructive effects of the contemporary fashion industry on the environment. Dr. Cory Redman, the Science Curator at GRPM stated that:

"The wide variety of natural history specimens in this exhibit showcase how nature has influenced the patterns, colors, textures, and materials used in the fashion industry. Natural history specimens are paired with garments to show how fashion is reliant on nature and also to inspire and encourage the community to become better consumers and reduce the harmful impacts of the industry."

The exhibit will feature a variety of hands-on learning experiences, including the ability to touch 3D printed samples and use an augmented reality mirror that will allow visitors to "try on" garments from the Museum's Collections. There will also be focus placed on sustainability and how the industry is working to lessen its impact on the environment. 

Access to the exhibit will be included with general admission to GRPM. It will also be available in both English and Spanish. 

For more information, click here to visit the Fashion + Nature section of the Grand Rapids Public Museum's website.


Also in the news:

  • After more than a year of construction, Rosa Parks Circle is scheduled to reopen to the public on June 1, 2022.


  • Venue registration for ArtPrize 2022 officially opened on April 4, 2022 and will run through April 21, 2022. 


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