Upon the release of footage of the fatal shooting of Patrick Lyoya at the hands of a Grand Rapids police officer, President David Eisler’s office released a statement today, April 14, at approximately 10:15 a.m., linking students to various campus support resources.
Lyoya, a 26-year-old African American, was killed by a Grand Rapids police officer on April 4. The footage was released by the Grand Rapids Police Department on Wednesday, April 13 at 3 p.m.
“The videos are difficult to watch and elicit strong emotions including shock, anger, sadness and grief. The loss for this young man’s family is something that no words can address or replace.” Eisler wrote in the email. “As we grieve for Mr. Lyoya and his family, we are reminded once again about the fragility of life, about racial inequities in our country and the need for action to prevent future tragedies.”
An investigation of Lyoya’s death is being conducted by the Michigan State Police. Once the investigation is completed, prosecutors will decide whether the officer involved, whose name has yet to be released, will face charges.
“These events are especially disturbing for our Black students, faculty and staff.” Eisler wrote in the email. “This is a time for our University community and for communities everywhere to come together, help one another and to be a source of light for others in this time of darkness. If you know someone who is struggling, please reach out and lend support to them.”
The email proceeded to link services such as:
Office of Multicultural Student Services: (231) 591-2617 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Diversity and Inclusion Office: (231) 591-2013 or email@example.com
Student Life: (231) 591-5916 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Personal Counseling Center: (231) 591-5968 or email@example.com
Eisler’s message was also shared by Ferris Life and sent to all students at approximately 4:20 p.m. Eisler ended the email by saying that Ferris is stronger united against injustices in these times.
“We must continue our work of addressing systemic racism and building communities that are safe, supportive and inclusive.” Eisler said. “These events do not reflect the world we want for our students, our children and for all of the people all of the time. We are strongest when we unite together and take a stand against injustice, supporting one another during these most difficult times.”