June 15, 2022
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids Police Officer Christopher Schurr has been terminated, officials said Wednesday.
Schurr, a seven-year police veteran, waived his right to a hearing and was dismissed, effective last Friday, said City Manager Mark Washington.
Schurr’s dismissal was recommended by GRPD Chief Eric Winstrom after a second-degree murder charge was filed Thursday, the New York Post reported.
June 10, 2022, 2:42 p.m.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A Michigan judge on Friday set bond at $100,000 for Grand Rapids Police Officer Christopher Schurr who pleaded not guilty to a murder charge related to the shooting death of Patrick Lyoya earlier this year.
Schurr, appearing by video from jail, said few words during the brief hearing as he mostly answered procedural questions about his rights and certain documents. Grand Rapids Judge Nicholas Ayoub entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf, Fox News reported.
The courtroom benches were full of spectators, some wearing T-shirts with pro-police slogans, including #StandwithSchurr.
Outside court, Lyoya supporters were in full force and and taunted Schurr’s backers, who said little in return.
June 10, 2022, 10:52 a.m.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Michigan police officer involved in the shooting death of Patrick Lyoya earlier this year will make his initial court appearance on Friday.
Grand Rapids Officer Christopher Schurr is expected to appear in court on the charge of second-degree murder after Kent County prosecutor Chris Becker announced the decision on Thursday to charge the officer, Fox News reported.
Schurr’s attorneys have argued that Lyoya, 26, had “gained control of” the officer’s weapon and the shooting was a matter of self-preservation.
Regardless, Becker is forging ahead with the prosecution as he believes the officer’s actions were unjustified.
“The death was not justified or excused, for example, by self defense,” the prosecutor said, reciting the elements of second-degree murder.
Most police officers who’ve fought with combative suspects trying to disarm them could not disagree more with Becker’s assessment.
In an editorial published by Law Officer titled, “Grand Rapids police shooting: Let’s place the blame where it belongs,” retired police lieutenant Jim McNeff recapped the circumstances that were known at the time.
“So let’s recap the general circumstances that are known. Lyoya was stopped for a traffic violation. He failed to remain in the car as instructed. He failed to produce a driver’s license as required by law. The officer told Lyoya that the license plate did not belong on the car, which required further investigation. He struggled with the officer and then ran during the legal detention. When the officer caught him, he chose to fight. During the 90-second wrestling match, Lyoya obtained some manner of possession of the officer’s Taser. The officer ordered him at least twice to release the Taser before the bodycam was knocked off and deactivated. Reasonably fearing that great bodily harm could come to him if tased, the officer resorted to deadly force.”
Continuing, McNeff said, “Consequently, Lyoya was the ultimate cause of his death despite claims to the contrary. He made every decision that required a countermeasure taken by the officer.”
Law enforcement officers are not on an island in their opinion about the fatal encounter. Even journalist Jason Whitlock — who is black — said it succinctly in a tweet. “Just watched the video. Patrick Lyoya did everything possible to make that cop to shoot him.”
Just watched the video. Patrick Lyoya did everything possible to make that cop to shoot him.
— Jason Whitlock (@WhitlockJason) April 14, 2022
In past articles, Whitlock has also said that black men getting killed while fighting with police “are not examples of ‘systemic racism.’ If anything, they’re examples of ‘systemic resisting arrest.’”
When Law Officer shared video of the shooting, McNeff said on social media posts, “Don’t run, don’t fight, don’t take the officer’s Taser and live.”
It’s that simple, yet police continue to get negative publicity when people choose non-compliance in all manner of resistance, and in this case, one is getting prosecuted for murder.
- Grand Rapids police release video footage of OIS involving Patrick Lyoya
- Grand Rapids police shooting: Let’s place the blame where it belongs
- ‘I’d rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6,’ but going to prison sucks