Thursday, April 14, 2022

The Shooting of Patrick Lloya, Grand Rapids, MI

This one is a bit more complex, as it involves use of a taser first, but here are my thoughts after watching the video, if we pretend that we don't know already that Grand Rapids has a particularly notorious reputation for both racism and police brutality, or that Patrick Lloya immigrated to this country from the Republic of Congo in 2014 and may not know the proper protocol when traffic-stopped. 

The press conference is first, and the first of the three videos doesn't begin until 28 minutes.

Just a forewarning, it is graphic - you must consent before watching ... 

The car is stopped for the license plate not belonging to the car.

Patrick gets out of the car instead of staying in it until the cop tells you to, which is a no-no. 

Patrick appears confused, asks him why he is stopped.  The officer asks him if he speaks English and to get his driver's license.  Patrick appears confused, tells him it's in the car, but appears not to know whether he should get in and get it himself or not and the officer does not instruct him.  He asks the passenger to get it for him in the console, but the passenger is unable to find it.

Patrick begins to walk around to the passenger's side, which is also a no-no.

At this point, the officer shouts "Nope, nope!" and grabs him.

Patrick panics and begins to run.

(The officer has now drawn his taser, which we don't see clearly until the body-cam footage). 

He chases after Patrick and tackles him to the ground, and Patrick is clearly resisting arrest now.

The officer appears to kick him, twice (30:25).

By 30:55, the officer has Patrick standing, with his back to him - this would've been a perfect time to use his drawn taser if he felt Patrick wasn't under control - but he doesn't. 

Instead, for some reason I don't understand. at 30:56, the officer turns him around begins to pull and walk Patrick backwards a couple of yards - just out of range of the dashcam - which the officer  appears to almost briefly look at while pulling him backwards? ;)

At this point, we cannot see what is going on until we hear the shot.

From the body cam footage, we can see that at some point after this, the officer tried to use the taser during a struggle, but misfired it twice. 

The body cam deactivates.

This can happen during a struggle or it can be intentionally shut-off - at this point, we don't know which.

The passenger's phone video shows what happens next.  

The officer tackles him to the ground again, Patrick grabs for the taser, the officer tells him to stop resisting, let go of the taser.

Now lying on Patrick's back, the officer pulls his gun, puts it to the back of Patrick's head, and shoots him dead (44:10)  :(

Now, it's easy to view this and say what everyone should've done differently, but nevertheless, we can't learn until we do.

What Patrick could've done differently:

1) Not gotten out of the car until the cop told him to.  


This protocol is in existence for both officer and civilian safety (police brutality is less likely to happen if you are inside your car until the cop tells you to leave it).  It's  possible he didn't understand these rules, being an immigrant, but nevertheless, it exists for his own safety as well as for the cop.


2) Asked the cop if he could get his license in the car himself - not walk over to the passenger's side.


3) Not run, either out of panic OR guilt.


4)  Not resisted arrest.

What the cop should've done differently:

1)  Called for backup before he even stopped the car.  


Best-case scenario with plates that don't match the vehicle, he's driving the car for someone else and doesn't know - worst case scenario, the car is stolen or there's something illegal in the car - in which case, you will have a bigger bust than just one person could handle.


2)  Unnecessarily kicked Patrick when he was still up and Patrick was already down.  


There's using your leg to help subdue and there's blatant kicking - big difference.


3)  Without backup, used his taser long to subdue, long before he did. 


As mentioned, he had the perfect opportunity to do so at 30:55, but instead, used that time to curiously walk him backwards (off dashcam screen).


4) If you pull your gun, you warn first and then shoot to disable, not to kill, unless it is literally self-defense - you do NOT shoot someone in the back of the head while lying on their stomach - even if resisting arrest.  

Even if Patrick was guilty of a crime - which we don't know - even if he resisted arrest, which we DO know (though not attacking the officer) - he did not deserve an immediate death penalty - he deserved due process of law.

Now ask yourself one question, regardless of what side of the political fence you're on - do you think the officer would've handled things this way if he were white?

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