Funeral of Patrick Lyoya | Calls to identify cop who killed African American man

(Washington) Les funérailles d’un Afro-Américain tué début avril par un policier blanc se déroulaient vendredi à Grand Rapids, au Michigan, sur fond d’appels à ce que le nom de l’agent impliqué soit rendu public.

Publié à 13h59

« Ça ne peut pas s’arrêter aujourd’hui […] We must fight for him,” launched the famed Reverend Al Sharpton, an African American figure in the civil rights struggle, while delivering the eulogy for Patrick Lyoya, as he had done for George Floyd, another African American policeman who was killed in 2020.

Mr Lyoya, 26, was killed in a traffic stop in Grand Rapids on April 4, the latest tragedy in a long list of black people killed by police across the United States.

The police released four videos of the incident, showing in particular the motorist and the police officer fighting back on the ground. One of these shows the agent lying on Patrick Lyoya’s back and struggling before shooting him in the head.

Al Sharpton also asked the Grand Rapids Police Department to release the name of the officer involved, who was placed on administrative leave pending the results of the Michigan State Police investigation.

“How dare you withhold the name of the man who killed that man?” We want his name,” he said in front of an audience of almost a thousand.

“Is it Michigan in 2022 or Mississippi in 1952? cried the Reverend, referring to the former segregated state in the South.

The ceremony, which was broadcast live by the local newspaper Detroit FreePresstook place in a church in Grand Rapids, the second largest metropolitan area in the state of Michigan.

The coffin placed in front of the church’s lectern, the upper part of which openly shows the body of Patrick Lyoya, was covered at the bottom with the flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the young man’s home country.

American society has been rocked by the deaths of black men killed by police in recent years, particularly after a white police officer knelt on George Floyd’s neck in Minneapolis in 2020.

The images of George Floyd’s death, face down in the street, and after repeatedly repeating that he could not breathe, shocked the world.

His name had thus become, among others, a symbol of the Black Lives Matter movement during the major anti-racist demonstrations of 2020.

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