Rev. Al Sharpton Calls For Justice At Funeral Of Patrick Lyoya.
Civil rights leader the Rev. Al Sharpton delivered a fiery eulogy Friday at the funeral of Patrick Lyoya, who was fa’tal’ly sh’ot by a police officer during a traffic stop this month.
Sharpton ral’lied the crowd to fi’ght against police ki’ll’ing people who are not under threat, saying “We can’t bring Patrick back,” but “we can bring justice in Patrick’s name.”
The New York reverend asked what message Lyoya’s d’eath was sending to Africa and around the world.
Lyoya, a re’fuge’e from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and his family faced vi’ol’e’nce and pe’rsec’ut’ion in Congo, which has seen prolo’nged co’nf’lict.
Sharpton also raised the leg’acy of s’lavery and and the de’hu’manizat’ion of others and asked if a man’s life was worth having the wrong car tags.
“This cannot end today,” he told an applauding crowd, demanding officials release the name of the sho’ot’er. “How dare you withhold the name of the man who ki’ll’ed this man,” he added.
The service was reminder of some of the raci’al challenges that America – and policing – faces. Lyoya was Bl’ack and the officer, who hasn’t been named, is white.
Family and other mo’urners viewed Lyoya’s b’ody, which was placed in a white casket d’raped with the sky-blue flag of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Family attorney Benjamin Crump- including Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Michael Brown –also spoke at the funeral: “We come here to make a plea for justice.”
He said that people could witness with their own eyes what happened.
“It’s not just an issue that affects Grand Rapids,” he said. “This is an issue that affects all humanity because Patrick was a human being.”
The officer, whose name has not been released by officials, is on paid leave and is the subject of an invest’ig’ation by the Michigan State Police. No cha’rges have been brought aga’inst him.
Lyoya’s parents told the Detroit Free Press, part of the USA TODAY Network, last week that he was a loving son who worked in a small plant manufacturing auto parts.
“They told us that in America, there’s peace, there’s safety, you’re not going to see ki’ll’ing anymore,” Lyoya’s mother, Dorcas Lyoya, said. She added that the United States was portrayed as “a safe haven.”