Protesters demonstrate in Michigan as police release videos of a police officer shooting a Black man dead following a traffic stop.

Police officer, who was alone at the time of the shooting, has been placed on paid administrative leave.
Police officer, who was alone at the time of the shooting, has been placed on paid administrative leave. (AFP)

Dozens of protestors have gathered in Grand Rapids, Michigan after police released videos related to the fatal shooting of a young Black man by a white police officer.

"I view it as a tragedy," Grand Rapids police chief Eric Winstrom said of the shooting at a press conference Wednesday, at which the videos were released.

"It was just a progression of sadness for me. The loss of life in any circumstance is sad and I know that it's going to impact our city," he added.

One of the four videos from the April 4 incident shows the officer lying on the back of 26-year-old Patrick Lyoya as the two scuffled after a traffic stop and then appeared to shoot him in the head.

Prior to the shooting, the men appear to be wrestling on the ground for control of the officer's taser. The officer has not been named.

TV footage showed some 50 to 100 protesters convened in downtown Grand Rapids, a city of around 200,000 people. They carried "Black Lives Matter" placards and chanted "no justice, no peace."

Aggressive history

Police killings of Black Americans have drawn acute national attention in recent years, particularly after a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on the neck of George Floyd until he died in 2020.

Floyd's death, which was filmed by a bystander in a video that went viral, fuelled the Black Lives Matter movement and sparked months of protests against racial injustice and police brutality in the United States and around the world.

The officer in the Grand Rapids case is on paid leave while state police investigate whether to bring charges, Winstrom said.

Source: AFP