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Calls for justice as US cops shoot unarmed black man in the head

CAMPAIGNERS are demanding justice for a black man they say was “executed” by police in the US state of Michigan. 

Newly released footage shows 26-year-old Patrick Lyoya being shot in the head by a law enforcement officer as he lay face down on the ground. 

The incident occurred on April 4 when he was pulled over because his car appeared to have a number plate that didn’t belong to the vehicle. 

Grand Rapids Police released footage of the incident, including that taken by a passenger in the car, on Wednesday, citing a need for transparency. 

It shows Mr Lyoya, who is originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, asking “What did I do?” before a struggle ensued. 

An officer was heard to shout “let go of the taser” as Mr Lyoya had his hand on the weapon preventing it from being fired. 

In the final moments the officer was on top of Mr Lyoya kneeling on his back at times to restrain him. 

Speaking at a press conference his father Peter Lyoya said he never imagined his eldest son could be killed by a police officer in the United States. 

“When I saw the video, my heart was deeply broken,” he said. “Right now, my life has come to an end. My life was Patrick, my son,” Mr Lyoya told reporters.

“To see that my son has been killed like an animal by this police officer, to see this video they showed, I see that I have no life, I see my heart being broken,” he said. “I’m asking for justice. I’m asking for justice for Patrick.”

The killing has triggered protests and calls for an end to police violence against black people in the US.

Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom said that the taser was deployed twice and confirmed that Mr Lyoya was shot in the head. 

“That’s the only information that I have,” he said.

Lawyer for the family Benjamin Crump said that there was no reason for the shooting. 

“The video shows us that this is as his mother, father have said – an execution. There’s no way to try to spin it or justify it,” he said. “That’s why we’re demanding justice for Patrick.”

The officer, who has not been named, has been placed on administrative leave and Michigan State Police have been asked to investigate. 

A decision on criminal charges will be made by prosecutors once the investigation is complete.

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