"Rarely, if ever, are any of us healed in isolation. Healing is an act of communion." ― bell hooks
Our deepest condolences to the family of Patrick Lyoya, who was murdered by a Grand Rapids police officer on April 4, 2022. Lyoya family, as you continue to grieve and mourn please know that your community grieves with you. To the broader community, please support the Lyoya family by ensuring that they are cared for during this time. You can contribute directly towards Patrick’s funeral expenses at the following link.
We shared this open letter in June 2020. It has been two long years since then, and we find ourselves having the same conversations and fighting the same fight. Our requests from the Grand Rapids Police Department and the City of Grand Rapids remain. Our community is right to hold the Grand Rapids Police Department, Grand Rapids Police Officer Association and the City of Grand Rapids responsible for Patrick’s murder.
We acknowledge and share your grief and rage. We - not as an organization, but as fellow community members - stand with local activists and organizers who continue to inspire us by their courage, perseverance and wisdom. This is also the time for solidarity and community care. Hold each other gently, choose your words with care, be generous and mindful of the pain we collectively feel.
Additionally, we are leaning into the ongoing work of transformative justice. We continue to demand for local and statewide reforms that lead to community centered public safety strategies. There are local and state level policies that prevent structural changes to policing. Moving forward, we continue to work towards the following goals:
- Amend the City of Grand Rapids charter to remove the 32% budget floor for GRPD
- Add community interests as a third party beneficiary in collective bargaining negotiations between the Police Union (GRPOA) and the City of Grand Rapids
- Eliminate qualified immunity for police misconduct in the State of Michigan
Time and time again, we have been fighting a system that protects police at the expense of our community. Without transformative justice the GRPD will be emboldened to continue their targeted harassment, violence, and dehumanization of our community.