Police Executed Him After His Family Sought Asylum In This Country

patrick lyoya protest
Zain Murdock
April 22, 2022

On April 4, 2022, 26-year-old Patrick Lyoya was pulled over for a mismatched license plate in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In the violent struggle that later ensued, Lyoya tried to run. But whether we run or not, police always find a reason to kill us.

While Lyoya’s passenger pleaded to de-escalate the situation, the unidentified police officer straddled Lyoya face down on the ground. Then, he shot Lyoya in the back of the head! 

It was a vicious and unnecessary execution.

Now that eyes are on Grand Rapids police, their history of profiling Black residents at gunpoint, especially children, has also come to the forefront. But Lyoya’s story holds yet another layer.

In 2014, Lyoya's parents escaped to the U.S. from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to seek asylum. “I thought it was a safe place,” said his father. “But it seems like we are in danger even when we come here.” 

From African immigrants fleeing conflict to Black Americans simply existing, we all face anti-Black violence wherever we go.

The unfortunate reality is that we cannot escape anti-Blackness because it exists everywhere – all over the world. So if we cannot escape to safety, we will have to fight to build something new and create a safer world – from wherever we are.

We have a quick favor to ask:

PushBlack is a nonprofit dedicated to raising up Black voices. We are a small team but we have an outsized impact:

  • We reach tens of millions of people with our BLACK NEWS & HISTORY STORIES every year.
  • We fight for CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM to protect our community.
  • We run VOTING CAMPAIGNS that reach over 10 million African-Americans across the country.

And as a nonprofit, we rely on small donations from subscribers like you.

With as little as $5 a month, you can help PushBlack raise up Black voices. It only takes a minute, so will you please ?

Share This Article: