By NAN STAFF WRITER
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. April 20, 2022: The Black immigrant killed by a Grand Rapids, Michigan Police Department officer during a traffic stop on April 4th is set to be funeralized on Friday.
Rev. Al Sharpton is set to deliver the eulogy at the funeral of Congolese migrant Patrick Lyoya. The funeral is set for 11 a.m. at the Renaissance Church of God in Christ in Grand Rapids.
“He was a good kid, a smart kid. He was a hard worker,” Patrick Lyoya’s father, Peter Lyoya, told News 8 through an interpreter on April 5th, the day after his son died. “We’re looking for the reason, the cause, why Patrick was killed today. We want to know, ‘why?’ … I’m mourning. I’m crying. I’m deeply hurt to see that I lost my first born at the age of 26. I never dreamed that one day I would be the one burying my son.”
Patrick Lyoya, an African immigrant, was killed by a White Police officer on April 4, 2022 in Michigan.
Sharpton is also reportedly paying for the funeral and will be one of the pastors presiding. Other speakers will include civil rights attorney Ben Crump, Womack and the family’s interpreter.
Police in the U.S. state of Michigan say the 26-year-old was driving a car with license plates that didn’t match the vehicle, and that’s why he was pulled over. But what ensued was a deadly shooting of a Black man by a white police officer.
Lyoya was fatally shot in the back of the head by a police officer after a struggle, an incident that has outraged civil rights advocates and led to protests in Grand Rapids.
Lyoya’s family arrived in the United States as refugees in 2014 after facing years of war and persecution in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
They were living in Malawi when they won asylum to live in the U.S., part of a growing number of refugees from Congo in Michigan.
“It’s shocking to Black migrants who have this vision of the United States as the land of the free and the home of the brave,” said Nana Gyamfi, executive director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration. “There’s a notion that police here are going to be different.”
About 4.6 million, or 1 in 10, Black people living in American are immigrants and that number is projected to double by 2060, according to a January report from Pew Research Center. The Black immigrant population is racially and ethnically diverse, but in the last decade Africans have become one of the fastest growing segments through refugee admissions and the diversity visa lottery program, according to the Migration Policy Institute.