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Civil rights leaders to speak at Patrick Lyoya’s funeral

(GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.) — Nearly three weeks after the killing of 26-year-old Patrick Lyoya, his family, friends and activists are coming together to celebrate his life and call for justice in his death.

His funeral will take place Friday at 11 a.m. local time at the Renaissance Church of God in Christ in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Civil rights activist Al Sharpton, civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing the Lyoya family, Commissioner Robert Womack and bishop Dennis McMurray are expected to speak at the service, which is open to all masked attendees.

Lyoya, a native of Congo, was shot by an officer following a struggle outside a house in Grand Rapids on April 4 after he was pulled over for a faulty license plate, according to police.

Video of Lyoya’s death was recorded on an officer’s body camera, dashcam video, security cameras and a bystander’s cellphone and released by the police amidst community pressure last week.

The footage shows a white police officer, whose name has not yet been released, struggling with Lyoya after chasing him on foot following a traffic stop. The officer eventually forces Lyoya to the ground and is heard shouting “stop resisting,” “let go” and “drop the Taser,” before shooting him in the head.

The Grand Rapids Police Department has not yet named the officer involved in Lyoya’s death and says the investigation is “ongoing.” Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has said the investigation will be “thorough.”

Protesters have peacefully demonstrated in Grand Rapids since the release of the video footage, calling for justice for Lyoya.

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