Listen to this article here
Sign-Up for a free subscription to The Black Wall Street Times‘ daily newsletter, Black Editors’ Edition (BEE) – our curated news selections & opinions by us for you.
Kent County Prosecutor Christopher Becker announced Thursday afternoon that the officer responsible for the April 4 killing of Patrick Lyoya has been charged with second-degree murder.
“As it stands now, this is merely an allegation and as with any defendant, he is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law,” Becker said at the Michigan State Police Sixth District headquarters.
Grand Rapids Police Officer Christopher Schurr was charged with second-degree murder for the April 4 shooting that killed 26-year-old Patrick Lyoya.
On April 4, police said Lyoya was pulled over for a traffic stop that led to a lengthy fight between him and Schurr. After a couple minutes of wrestling on the ground, the officer can be heard yelling “let go of the taser” multiple times.
After yelling “drop the taser” Schurr pulls out his gun and shoots Lyoya in the back of the head from point blank range, while pressing Lyoya’s head into the ground. He fired one shot, killing Lyoya.
WARNING: Viewer discretion is advised. This video contains graphic content. Patrick Lyoya Bodycam footage
“The unimaginable pain and stress and the emotions they must be going through all of this,” Becker said. “I deeply appreciate what they’ve done, especially the calls for peace and calm during this entire time.”
Becker announced that the family was first informed of the charge and received a written letter explaining it in their native language of Swahili, according to The Detroit News.
“The elements of second-degree murder is relatively simple. First, there was a death, a death done by the defendant. … The death was not justified or excused, for example, by self-defense. Taking a look at everything that I reviewed in this case, I believe there’s a sufficient basis to proceed,” said Becker.
Schurr turned himself in to Michigan State Police and is expected to be arraigned Friday.
Second-degree murder is a felony punishable by up to life in prison.