source: Michigan Live
published: 19 May 2022
Patrick Lyoya was the first-born son. In his refugee family from the Democratic Republic of Congo, the role seemed to weigh on him. Lyoya even reflected upon it in a 2020 Facebook post, saying that “I’m the first son and I usually (mess) it up but this year I’m trying pop.” He wrote he hoped to do better in life.
The life of the 26-year-old, a father of two young children, came to a tragic end April 4 during a struggle with a Grand Rapids police officer. The killing of Lyoya and the subsequent release of videos showing the encounter attracted national [and international] attention.
In trying to develop a profile of Lyoya’s life prior to his final moments, MLive/The Grand Rapids Press talked to multiple people who knew him and reviewed public documents. The findings paint the picture of a complicated life, one that featured time in a refugee camp, run-ins with the legal system and a desire to help others, especially family members.
Civil rights leaders say the police officer resorted to deadly force without need and that he should be charged with a crime and fired.