In a statement, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer expressed sympathy to the Lyoya family and called for any protests to be peaceful.
Investigation: Deadly Police Traffic Stops in the U.S.
“The Michigan State Police will conduct a transparent, independent investigation of the shooting,” said Ms. Whitmer, a Democrat and former prosecutor. “Then, prosecutors must consider all the evidence, follow the law and take appropriate action on charges. Justice is foundational to safety, and without justice, we are all less safe.”
Mr. Lyoya’s death was the latest in a series of incidents that have strained relations between residents and the Grand Rapids police. In 2017, officers searching for a middle-aged woman wanted for a stabbing instead handcuffed an 11-year-old girl at gunpoint while she was leaving a house. Those officers were not disciplined. Months prior, other Grand Rapids officers held five innocent teenagers at gunpoint. And in 2020, local outlets reported, an officer was suspended for two days after shooting a protester in the face with a gas canister.
City data from 2020 showed that Black residents who responded to a survey said they had less trust in the Grand Rapids police than their white and Hispanic neighbors did.
“We’ve constantly, constantly been talking about the harassment and the brutality that’s done right here,” Cle Jackson, the president of the Greater Grand Rapids N.A.A.C.P., said in a news conference after the video was released.
A spokeswoman for the Michigan State Police, the agency handling the case, declined to say when the investigation might be finished and handed over to prosecutors for a charging decision.
Christopher Becker, the prosecuting attorney in Kent County, which includes Grand Rapids, last week urged the police to hold off on releasing the video until the State Police investigation was completed. Chief Winstrom, who took over as police chief last month, responded by saying he would release the video by the end of this week, though he did not set a date for that release until Tuesday afternoon.