Family and friends of Patrick Lyoya mourn during the burial service for Lyoya at Resurrection Cemetery in Wyoming, Mich. on Friday, April 22, 2022. Lyoya, 26, a Black man was killed April 4, 2022 by a white Grand Rapids, Mich. police officer. (Joel Bissell/Kalamazoo Gazette via AP)
   

 

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Grand Rapids Police Officer Christopher Schurr stops to talk with a resident, Wednesday, August 12, 2015, in Grand Rapids, Mich. Grand Rapids police have identified Schurr as the officer who killed Patrick Lyoya three weeks ago. Lyoya was a Black man and native of Congo who was fatally shot in the back of the head after a struggle with the officer. Police Chief Eric Winstrom had declined to name the officer but changed course Monday, April 25, 2022. He says he's doing it in the "interest of transparency" and to reduce speculation. (Emily Rose Bennett/The Grand Rapids Press via AP)

  Michigan police officer identified in fatal shooting of Black man

By Tyler Clifford;
Editing by Frank McGurty
and Aurora Ellis
reuters.com

GRAND RAPIDS - Authorities on Monday identified Christopher Schurr as the police officer who fatally shot Patrick Lyoya, a 26-year-old Black man, during a traffic stop in Grand Rapids, Michigan, earlier this month, days after his family and mourners called for him to be named at a memorial service.

"In the interest of transparency, to reduce on-going speculation, and to avoid any further confusion, I am confirming the name already publicly circulating Christopher Schurr as the officer involved in the April 4 Officer Involved Shooting," Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom said.

The statement comes almost two weeks after law enforcement made video footage of the killing available to the public. Winstrom added that the department would release more information regarding the incident later this week.
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Schurr is currently on administrative leave as the Michigan State Police investigate whether he should face criminal charges. The department did not say how long he has served on the force, though local media MLive reported he has been with the department for seven years.

Lyoya's family is calling for authorities to dismiss the officer from the force and file criminal charges against him.

Lyoya, who was driving on April 4, was pulled over by the officer who said he ran the car's license plate and that it did not match the vehicle, according to the released video.

It shows Lyoya stepping out of the car and seemingly confused as the policeman repeatedly asks for a driver's license and orders him to get back inside the vehicle.

Lyoya then attempts to walk away as the officer attempts to handcuff him.

Following a short foot chase, the two men grapple on the lawn, at one point wrestling over the officer's stun gun. Schurr then drew his gun while on top of Lyoya and fired one shot in the back of his head, video footage shows.

A forensic pathologist who performed an independent autopsy on Lyoya said he was shot once by a gun that was held to the back of his head.

The death of Lyoya, a Congolese refugee, touched off protests in Grand Rapids by activists who say it represents the latest example of police violence against young Black men.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump came to represent the Lyoya family while civil rights activist Al Sharpton delivered a eulogy for Lyoya on Friday.

"That is now scientific evidence of this tragic killing where his family believes was an execution," Crump said of the autopsy.
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Reporting by Tyler Clifford; Editing by Frank McGurty and Aurora Ellis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.




 

 

 
 
 
 
 


 
 

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