Grand Rapids Police Officer Christopher Schurr faces charges in the death of Patrick Lyoya

Grand Rapids Police Officer Christopher Schurr has been charged with second-degree murder after he shot and killed an unarmed black man.

The announcement by the Kent County Attorney’s Office on Thursday came after nationwide outrage when the release of witness and body camera footage showed Schurr shooting Lyoya in the back of the head following a traffic stop.

In early April, Lyoya and another man were pulled over by Schurr for allegedly having a license plate that didn’t match the car Lyoya was driving – a possible sign of car theft.

Lyoya left the vehicle and asked why he was stopped before slowly walking away from the encounter.

When Schurr tried to grab Lyoya from behind, Lyoya escaped the officer’s grasp and began jogging to a nearby lawn. Schurr tried to use his taser and missed.

Patrick Lyoya blocks a taser gun held by a Grand Rapids cop during a traffic stop just before he was shot.


Schurr managed to attack Lyoya and pin him face down on the ground while sitting on top of him.

He then yelled at Lyoya to let go of his taser before grabbing his gun and shooting the back of his head, killing him.

The location of the taser is not clear in these final moments.

After the shooting, tensions ran high in Grand Rapids, where the black community makes up just 18 percent of the population in a white-majority city with a long history of police misconduct.


A Grand Rapids police officer grabs Patrick Lyoya’s shirt during a traffic stop just before Lyoya was shot dead in April.


In April, Crump and the Lyoya family released the results of an independent autopsy report which they said showed the gun had been pressed to the back of Lyoya’s head when he was shot.

At the time, Crump questioned whether the stop might have been racial profiling — and wondered how Schurr knew Lyoya’s registration was bad when he initially passed in the opposite direction.


Dorcas Lyoya (C), the mother of Patrick Lyoya, is comforted as she mourns the loss of her son as he is buried at Resurrection Cemetery on April 22.

Scott Olson

Before he was killed by Schurr, Lyoya was a 26-year-old refugee, the son of Dorcas and Peter Lyoya – who had brought their family to Grand Rapids as refugees from violence in their home country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

– This is an evolving story Grand Rapids Police Officer Christopher Schurr faces charges in the death of Patrick Lyoya


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