April 14, 2022

On Monday, April 4, 2022, Patrick Lyoya, a 26 year-old father, friend, son, and member of the Grand Rapids community was shot and killed by an officer of the Grand Rapids Police Department. Patrick was a Congolese refugee and he did not speak English as a first language. 

We are not only saddened by the realities of systemic racism, we are called to action. YNPN.GR stands in sorrow and solidarity with our community as we mourn. We are committed to using our collective voice, resources, and influence to create equitable change in our community.  

We want to uplift this message from the NAACP Press Statement: “The NAACP is deeply concerned that yet one more young Black man has lost his life during a traffic stop by the police. The NAACP is also deeply troubled that, although eight days have passed since Mr. Lyoya lost his life, neither the Grand Rapids Police Department nor the Michigan State Police has interviewed the officer or officers involved in the fatal shooting. Rather than proceeding in a transparent manner to ensure public trust, the Grand Rapids Police Department has failed to produce any information about the officers involved in this fatal shooting, nor has it produced any information about the disciplinary record of the police officers involved in this incident. The police also have failed to release any medical examiner’s report that presumably would shed light on the injuries sustained by Mr. Lyoya.” 

We recognize the path towards systems change and an equitable future is long and complex. It will take time, we will make mistakes, but we are committed to anti-racism and racial justice work. Please join us in taking these first steps toward correcting the wrongs our society and sector has allowed for decades:

  1. Support Patrick Lyoya’s family
    1. Send a letter to demand justice – Action Network: Demand Justice 
    2. Make a donation to help cover funeral costs and other family expenses
  1. Donate unrestricted funds to local organizations or funds that are on the front lines of equity and anti-racism work
    1. NAACP Grand Rapids
    2. Urban Core Collective
  2. Familiarize yourself and your organization with anti-racism resources and resources to process trauma
    1. Anti-Racism Resources
    2. Anti-Racism, Identity Development, and Mentoring Resources Page
    3. Support BIPOC colleagues and professionals in our community to take care of themselves and process trauma by accessing  therapeutic support for, and BY clinicians of color, such as through the Mental Health Clinicians of Color group in Grand Rapids. 
  3. Engage your government officials at every level
    1. Sign the NAACP’s petition to President Biden for Uniform Police Reform
    2. Pay attention to Ending Qualified Immunity
    3. Attend Grand Rapids City Commission Meetings to advocate for justice and stay up to date on the status of this case. The next City Commission Meeting is April 26.