*trigger warning: police brutality*
"Patrick Lyoya was a 26 year old Congolese refugee and his family’s firstborn son. On Monday, April 4, 2022, at 8:00 am, Patrick was already parked and talking with his friend near Nelson Ave and Griggs Street in Southeast Grand Rapids. When a Grand Rapids police officer came alongside his car, and a few minutes later Patrick was shot and killed." - LinkTree bio. Click on the link to show your support.
I went to the protests in the summer of 2020, in downtown Grand Rapids. I held off posting about it because I wanted to listen carefully to Black activists and scholars before sharing my voice. I also recognize that my voice about this matters far less than those of Black activists, scholars, and community members.
But while my platform is small, I still need to share what I have been listening to for the past two years—especially since the Grand Rapids Police Department shot and murdered a man in cold blood. Though this may be shocking to some, it is not a shock to the community organizers and activists of Grand Rapids. As @alytheeactivist said in an Instagram post, "We told city officials that the GRPD is going to end up killing someone if they don’t hold them accountable for their violence. And for each and every person that ignored us and called us uneducated children, you now have blood on your hands."
Here are some Instagram accounts to stay up to date on the protests happening in GR.