Grand Rapids Officer Charged With 2nd Degree Murder in Patrick Lyoya’s Fatal Shooting

A Grand Rapids, Michigan, police officer who fatally shot Patrick Lyoya on April 4 has been charged by Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker with second degree murder.

Officer Christopher Schurr will be arrainged today in Grand Rapids District Court.

Cell phone, dash cam and body cam video show Schurr pulling over Patrick Lyoya’s car about 8:10 a.m. on a residential street in Grand Rapids. Lyoya got out of the car as Schurr approached to ask for identification, telling him that the plate did not match the car. Lyoya tried to run, and a length struggle included a fight over control of a taser, and ended with Schurr pulling his weapon and shooting Lyoya in the back of the head.

An autopsy later showed Lyoya’s blood alcohol level was .29, more than three times the legal limit in Michigan.

The Lyoya family hired civil rights attorney Ben Crump as peaceful protests ensued, questioning the police department’s conduct with the city’s Black residents and prompted discussions over the city’s commitment to racial equity.

Schurr had been with the police department since 2015. A review of his personnel file showed many letters of commendation for taking illegal guns and drugs off the streets. In some of the merit letters, he was recognized for successful foot chases.

Lyoya, an immigrant of the Democratic Republic of Congo, had three convictions for operating while intoxicated, as well as unlawful use of a motor vehicle, domestic violence and driving while license is suspended or revoked. When he died, there was a domestic violence warrant pending against him.

Prosecutor Becker began reviewing the Michigan State Police investigation in late April, and sought additional information from expert sources and more data from the manufacturer of Schurr’s body cam and Taser.

There were calls for state Attorney General Dana Nessel to take over the investigation, but Becker refused the offer, saying he had no conflict of interest.

MLive, USA Today