A police officer was charged Thursday with one count of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Patrick Lyoya, who was shot in the back of the head during a scuffle during a traffic check in April, according to a Michigan prosecutor.
Lyoya, a Black guy, was fatally shot on April 4 by Christopher Schurr, a White Grand Rapids police officer who was attempting to arrest him after a traffic stop. Multiple videos of Lyoya’s dying moments were later given to the public.
At a news conference later Thursday, Grand Rapids Police Department Chief Eric Winstrom said he was recommending to the city that Schurr be suspended without pay, pending firing. The cop will face a discharge hearing, and the city manager will make the final decision on his employment.
Justice For Patrick Lyoya
Becker stated that he had spoken with Lyoya’s family and that he had written them a letter in Swahili.
Patrick’s father, Peter Lyoya, said Thursday that the accusation provides some relief to the family, despite the fact that his son will never return.
“My heart has been broken for the past two months because a lot of things have been spoken,” he stated through an interpreter at a press conference. “And it occurred to me that perhaps there is no justice in America.”
They wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for the footage that showed the world his son’s final moments.
He Will Not Return
“Patrick will not return. We won’t be seeing him again, “According to Peter Lyoya. “And to illustrate this point, that the police officer will be punished, and is charged, that offers a little bit of consolation to our family because we see everyone who supports us, everyone who stands by us, they did a good job getting this sort of justice,” says the family.
An attorney representing the Lyoya family, Ben Crump, termed the decision to press charges “a step in the right direction” in a statement.
“Attorney Christopher Becker’s choice to prosecute Christopher Schurr with the terrible homicide of Patrick Lyoya, which we all watched when the video footage was given to the public,” Crump stated.