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Is the family of Patrick Lyoya being used for political purposes again?

May 26, 2022

Yesterday, Peter Lyoya, members of the Breonna Taylor family and George Floyd family, were in Washington, DC, during a ceremony where President Biden had signed an executive order on police reform.

The date was also the second anniversary of when George Floyd was murdered by Officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Both MLive and WOODTV8 reported on Peter Lyoya being in Washington, DC, along with his friend and translator, as well as the attorneys working with the Lyoya family, Ben Crump and Ven Johnson. 

The MLive article did include, ““I just told the president that (Peter’s) son was killed and that (Peter) was asking for reforms and for justice,” Siku said.

 So far there has been no justice for Patrick Lyoya and his family.

The WOODTV8 story says, “Lyoya’s family was invited by the White House to attend along with attorney Ben Crump, according to a Facebook post by Kent County Commissioner Robert Womack.” In that Facebook post Commissioner Womack reveals that he was asked to be on a national panel on police reform. Womack ends his post by saying:  

I’m working on a national program to educate people on what safe things to do when they are pulled over by police and what rights they have. We will have better police and community relations once we all admit there is a real problem, and that we can all do better. We are fighting for the greatest country in the world to be the greatest example of how the world should treat people. We are not there yet but with your help we will get there!  

There is almost too much to unpack there, but one thing that was clearly omitted was the demand to get Justice for Patrick Lyoya. 

Biden’s Executive Order on Police Reform 

So what exactly, is included in the so-called police reform package that Biden signed yesterday? According to a Press Release from the White House, the Executive Order will include:

  • Creating a new national database of police misconduct.
  • Strengthens Pattern or Practice Investigations.
  • Ensures timely and thorough investigations and consistent discipline.
  • Mandates the adoption of body-worn camera policies.
  • Bans the use of chokeholds and carotid restraints unless deadly force is authorized, and restricts the use of no-knock entries.
  • Requires new standards that limit the use of force and require de-escalation for all federal agencies.
  • Restores and expands upon the Obama-Biden Administration’s restrictions on the transfer of military equipment.
  • Requires an updated approach to recruitment, hiring, promotion, and retention of law enforcement officers.
  • Reimagines Crisis Response.
  • Prioritizes Officer Wellness.
  • Requires new standards for accreditation and for accrediting bodies.
  • Implements a new, evidence-informed annual anti-bias training requirement.
  • Tracks data on use of force incidents.
  • Studies the impact of use of force incidents on communities.
  • Safeguards the use of facial recognition technology and other sophisticated algorithmic tools.
  • Enhances data collection and data transparency.

This is a fair lengthy list, but none of it will prevent cops from killing anyone, especially Black people. And let’s be clear, this list is only for federal law enforcement agencies and DOES NOT apply to local or state police agencies.

Another important point about these police reforms is that the Biden Administration worked closely with the National Fraternal Order of Police and the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO). 

The President of the NAPO wrote, “The Executive Order does not recommend Congress take action to eliminate qualified immunity for officers, which is of utmost importance to NAPO as this legal protection for officers is essential.” The National Fraternal Order of Police released their own statement on the Biden Administration’s Police Reform package, stating: “We applaud the Administration for listening to our constructive feedback and incorporating our suggestions into the Executive Order. Our organizations, which represent our nation’s chiefs and the majority of rank-and-file officers, believe that it marks a significant step in our continuing efforts to strengthen the trust of the public in police and the criminal justice system.”  

The fact that two of the largest police associations in the country have been in constant contact with the Biden Administration and a pretty happy with the police reform package speaks volumes for how weak these reforms really are. Police reforms have never amounted to anything substantive and they often result in pumping more money into police departments. In the end, as with most issues, we cannot rely on politicians at any level to win Justice for Patrick, we have to achieve that as a movement. #Justice4Patrick

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