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Fresh protests over killing of Congolese refugee in the USA

Citizens rally for Patrick Lyoya in Grand Rapids, Michigan demanding justice for the unarmed Black men killed by a police office officer following a traffic stop on April 4.   -  
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Cory Morse/AP


**Dozens of demonstrators gathered Saturday in a fresh protest in Grand Rapids, eastern USA. The death of a 26-year-old Congolese refugee, Patrick Lyoya, ignited demands for Police reform.

Chanting, "there is no justice in this land" and "Justice for Patrick", dozens of protestors gathered Saturday in Grand Rapids, eastern USA.

The death of a 26-year-old Congolese-American ignited the protests against racism and demands for Police reform.

Patrick Lyoya, was killed by a police officer during a traffic stop in the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan on April 4.

Prior to the shooting, he appeared to be wrestling on the ground for control of the officer's taser in a video recoreded by the passenger in his car.

Nothing justifying pulling the trigger

Lyoya's death is the latest in a grim litany of Black unarmed people dying at the hands of police.

Patrick Lyoya’s parents said they had fled war in DR Congo only to have their "son killed with bullets" in the United States.

At an emotional press conference, attorney Ben Crump blasted what he called an "unnecessary, unjustifiable, excessive use of fatal force" that saw the officer "escalate a minor traffic stop into a deadly execution."

There was nothing, he said, "to justify him reaching for his service revolver, taking it and putting it to the back of Patrick's head and pulling the trigger. Blowing his head off. "

"If it's wrong to shoot civilians in the back of the head in the Ukraine, it is wrong for police to shoot civilians in the back of the head here in Grand Rapids, Michigan", he added.

The Lyoya's family lawyers want the officer who opened fire, identified, prosecuted and fired from the Police. For now, he has been placed on paid leave pending the state investigation. 

Congolese Prime minister, Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde, condemned what he called "a cowardly assassination" demanding an investigation.

Patrick Lyoya leaves two children and a grieving family behind.

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