Michigan protests continue after police shooting of immigrant

April 16 (UPI) -- Protests are continuing in Grand Rapids, Mich., in the wake of the police-involved shooting of 26-year-old immigrant from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

About 100 protesters marched through the city's downtown area for a fourth consecutive day on Friday, calling for justice for Patrick Lyoya, who was shot and killed by a Grand Rapids police officer last week, WZZM-TV and reported.


The demonstrators gathered outside Grand Rapids Police Headquarters several times during the four-hour march, chanting the name of Lyoya.

Organizers said further demonstrations are planned for Saturday.

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The protests have come following the release of body camera video and audio recordings of the confrontation between an unnamed officer and Lyoya, who were involved in a struggle during a traffic stop.

The video showed the officer's body camera deactivates at the moment Lyoya is fatally shot. Home security camera across the street and cellphone video from a passenger in Lyoya's car continued to document the shooting and aftermath.

The release of the footage sparked the renewed protests from frustrated Grand Rapids citizens demanding justice in the April 4 shooting and similar recent police-involved shootings.


Among Friday's demonstrators were a a group of medical students from Michigan State University's College of Human Medicine, who called themselves White Coats for Black Lives.

"I'm from West Michigan, and I have just never felt this much disappointment in my community," first-year medical student Marissa Solorzano told WOOD-TV. "So sure, we have to wait for this process, but I mean, you also have to help your community heal as we're processing that instantaneous disgust that you feel when you find out about these things."

Police were not present during Friday's demonstration by design, Grand Rapids Police Department Chief Eric Winstrom said.

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"We're trying to accommodate the First Amendment rights of these individuals as well as we can," he told the broadcaster. "And so far it's been a successful few days of protests. We haven't made a single arrest and there haven't been any issues as far as safety is concerned."

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