Congolese protests over refugee killing in USA

Hauwa Mustapha

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Dozens of demonstrators gathered in a fresh protest in Grand Rapids, eastern USA.

The death of a 26-year-old Congolese refugee, Patrick Lyoya, ignited demands for Police reform.

Chanting, there is no justice in this land” and “Justice for Patrick”, dozens of protestors gathered in Grand Rapids, eastern USA.

Patrick Lyoya, was killed by a police officer during a traffic stop in the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan on 4th April.

Prior to the shooting, he appeared to be wrestling on the ground for control of the officer’s taser in a video recorded by the passenger in his car.

Lyoya’s death is the latest in a grim litany of Black unarmed people dying at the hands of police.

Patrick Lyoya’s parents said they had fled war in DR Congo only to have their “son killed with bullets” in the United States.

At an emotional press conference, attorney Ben Crump blasted what he called an unnecessary, unjustifiable, excessive use of fatal force that saw the officer escalate a minor traffic stop into a deadly execution.

There was nothing, he said, to justify him reaching for his service revolver, taking it and putting it to the back of Patrick’s head and pulling the trigger. Blowing his head off. “

If it’s wrong to shoot civilians in the back of the head in the Ukraine, it is wrong for police to shoot civilians in the back of the head here in Grand Rapids, Michigan“, he added.

The Lyoya’s family lawyers want the officer who opened fire, identified, prosecuted and fired from the Police.

For now, he has been placed on paid leave pending the state investigation.

Congolese Prime minister, Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde, condemned what he called “a cowardly assassination” demanding an investigation.

Patrick Lyoya leaves two children and a grieving family behind.


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