Black man shot in back of head by Michigan police, independent autopsy says

A Black man who was killed by a Grand Rapids, Michigan, police officer during a traffic stop earlier this month, sparking protests in the city, was shot in the back of the head, a forensic pathologist who performed an independent autopsy said on Tuesday.

During a news conference in Detroit, forensic pathologist Werner Spitz and attorneys for the family of Patrick Lyoya said the autopsy found the 26-year-old was shot once and that the police officer held his gun to the back of Lyoya’s head.

“That is now scientific evidence of this tragic killing where his family believes was an execution,” civil rights attorney Ben Crump said during the news conference.

Spitz said he found no signs of a struggle such as scratches or bruises on Lyoya’s body, noting that the only injury was a bullet wound.

He also said he did not know the caliber of bullet that was fired, but that it was a “powerful bullet” that killed the man.

The death of Lyoya, a Congolese refugee, outraged members of his family and touched off protests in Grand Rapids by activists who say it represents the latest example of police violence against young Black men.

Lyoya’s family is demanding that authorities dismiss the officer who shot him from the force and file criminal charges against him. [USN:L2N2WC22X]

Grand Rapids police were not immediately available to comment in response to the independent autopsy findings.

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