Hundreds gather in Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS — Hundreds gathered Friday to celebrate the life and mourn the death of Patrick Lyoya, a Black man who was fatally shot by a white police officer during a traffic stop earlier this month.

In addition to giving loved ones and friends a chance to pay their respects to the 26-year-old who immigrated with his family to the U.S. in 2014, the service was a reminder of racial challenges that America — and police departments — still face. 

It was a funeral aimed at rallying a community that is hurting and feels a grave injustice has been committed.

Speakers included a civil rights leader, a U.S. representative, a local commissioner, and Congolese-American ministers and advocates. 

The Rev. Al Sharpton, who delivered a fiery eulogy, began by noting that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, the same date 54 years earlier, that Lyoya was killed.

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