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Defend Black Voters Coalition on the murder of Patrick Lyoya & companies funding voter suppression

Michigan People's Campaign and the Defend Black Voters Coalition join our members in Grand Rapids, and Black families everywhere, in grief and righteous anger following the police killing of 26-year-old Patrick Lyoya. Patrick's murder during a routine traffic stop is another indictment of American policing and another manifestation of its violently racialized roots. We hold Patrick's family in our hearts and

offer all who loved him our deepest condolences. The pain of fleeing one country's viol

ence only to see a son murdered in what was supposed to be a place of refuge is unfathomable. Yet while we send our thoughts and prayers, we know that they will not prevent future killings of unarmed Black civilians.

We have long fought for immigrant rights and the safety of Black communities from police violence, a fight in which voting rights are of fundamental importance. Systems of racially targeted oppression will never change in a world where the victims of that oppression are excluded from the democratic process. After police killings, corporations in our state have offered a predictable litany of empty, performative statements, asserting their so-called "commitment" to racial equity and justice. Consumers Energy's hollow statement in response to Patrick's murder is just the latest example. Yet we see through their thinly veiled complicity in anti-Black violence.

We want the public to know the truth: that Consumers Energy and other large, local corporations such as DTE Energy, Ford, and GM are funding the politicians who are actively working to unravel voting rights, overturn legitimate elections, suppress Black and immigrant voter participation, and uphold the systems that resulted in Patrick's murder. With their political donations, these corporations join hands with white supremacists who are on a mission to prevent inclusive, multiracial democracy.

We won't stand by and watch Consumers Energy pretend to support their Black and immigrant customers. Consumers Energy, if you mean what you say, then you must practice what you preach immediately. The same goes for DTE Energy, GM, and Ford, who have continued to fund a

nti-democratic demagogues. Our message to these companies is this: until you stop funding Black voter suppression, we will regard your sympathy for Black victims of police violence as nothing more than crocodile tears. We will do everything to make sure you are held accountable.

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