GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (June 9, 2022) — Sen. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) has issued the following statement regarding the decision by Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker to bring charges against the Grand Rapids police officer who killed Patrick Lyoya nearly two months ago:

“I am glad Prosecutor Becker found merit in bringing charges of second-degree murder against the accused officer. However, a trial will not bring Patrick or others like him back. At the end of the day, a person is dead, and we cannot allow another killing at the hands of police to go unexamined for the systemic flaws that continue to lead to these tragedies. We must change our systems when it’s clear they do not protect everyone equally.

“Since this shooting, I have listened to people across the district, parents worried about the world their children are growing up in, and communities who feel their concerns are not being heard. Patrick’s family left a country of violence and corruption yet walked into one where he was shot in the back of the head in someone’s front yard. We cannot accept this violence as a normal way of life. When our laws don’t protect everyone, they must change.

“I will continue to work to ensure Patrick’s is not another life lost in vain. Everyone in every community deserves to have the peace of mind that, regardless of who they are or the color of their skin, they will receive fair and equal treatment by our police.”